Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from UK
Wildlife experts claim that the noise generated by wind turbines can affect the sonar whales use to navigate, steering them off course. There are several commercial wind farms off East Anglia including Gunfleet Sands, which has 48 turbines.
Offshore wind farms are the latest barrier for salmon returning home
North of the border there have been claims that wind farms kill more birds of prey than illegal poisoning or shooting. Given North Yorkshire’s reputation as a hot spot for raptor persecution, just what is the impact of wind farms on protected birds of prey in our county?
The UK government has approved construction of the world’s largest offshore windfarm, providing the developer Dong Energy does not disturb porpoises off the Yorkshire coast.
The study, due to be published in Ibis, reports that numbers of the plover, which are protected under the European Birds Directive, dropped by 80 per cent within the wind farm during the first two years of operation, with these declines being markedly greater than on areas surrounding the wind farm that were studied over the same period.
Environmental groups have attacked the Scottish Government for allowing the political drive for wind farms to overrule the science of saving wildlife. It is “very disappointing” that this has caused Scotland to fall behind the rest of the UK on protecting harbour porpoises, they say. In October 2014, the European Commission warned the UK government that it would be taken to court for failing to designate special areas of conservation for harbour porpoises.
A massive statue of a golden eagle could soon have a bird’s eye view of a controversial wind farm which campaigners claim could kill protected birds. ...“I feel that having 67 turbines there would totally destroy the place. Apart from being unsightly, they could be a hazard to the eagles’ natural habitat.”
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) claims residents, businesses and landscape protection organisations are opposing the Talladh a Bheithe Wind Farm scheme to erect the 400ft turbines between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht.
Plans for nine 126m high wind turbines at The Delph, West Pinchbeck, are still live almost a year after council bosses asked a company to withdraw them because of a “flawed” ecological study.
“The giant wind turbines will slaughter huge numbers and I feel Navitus Bay have not done their duty to the wildlife. I would like to see the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds voice a strong objection.”
The application for a 47-turbine wind farm has been criticised by RSPBS for its impact on breeding birds and its location, being in the middle of the Caithness and Sutherland peatlands’ Special Protection Area (SPA). The tract of blanket bog, which is an important carbon store, is home to rare and endangered species such as golden eagle, hen harrier, merlin, black-throated diver, red-throated diver, greenshank and golden plover.
“This is, without doubt, one of the most worrying wind farm applications we have seen in Scotland. Not only does it risk harming some of the UK’s rarest species, it would make restoration of this core part of the globally important Flow Country much more difficult."
Scottish ministers gave Viking planning permission in April last year but judge, Lady Clark of Calton, said the Electricity Act required a developer to hold a generation licence before it could gain approval. Also, she said the minsters had failed to comply with the European Wild Birds Directive.
It has emerged that RWE estimates in a planning submission that 860 harbour porpoises may be disturbed by noise from pile drivers. Denise Parker, of the Porthcawl Environment Trust, said: “This is a breeding site and a resting place for the harbour porpoise, so we are very concerned.”
Since 2010, a proportion of the harrier chicks fledged at Langholm have been fitted with satellite tags which monitor their progress. The row centres on the methodology used by Infinis' environmental experts to assess bird numbers, which came up with the figure of a solitary hen harrier flying over the proposed site.
The EU Commission has confirmed it is taking infringement action against the UK Authorities for failing to adequately protect native harbour porpoises. The proposed Atlantic Array project involving 240 turbines each around 700ft tall between Gower and North Devon covering 124 square miles.
The European Commission's Habitats Directive places the harbour porpoise on a special annex requiring special areas of conservation. ...Almost uniquely the UK is not among them. It's about wind farms. The Government is mad on them. Offshore wind farms are the answer to everything and nothing must get in their way. And wind farming can affect porpoises.
WDCS remains concerned about the impact that these large developments in the marine environment will have on cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). ...habitat loss caused by the presence of the structures, WDCS is concerned about the high potential for cetaceans to be disturbed and displaced by noise introduced into their environment from the construction and operation of offshore wind farms, due to their high acoustic sensitivity.
We support the increased protection proposed for national parks and national scenic areas, though this merely formalises the present de facto position. Such protection should apply also where development is proposed beyond their boundaries ...the current greatest threat is large onshore wind developments.
The RSPB hopes that the windmills will be beneficial to birds and other wildlife in the long run Twitchers had flocked to the Outer Hebrides for a glimpse of the world's fastest-flying bird, a white-throated needletail, only spotted on these shores eight times since 1846.