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Wind farm generates debate

Professor David Bellamy OBE has joined the fight against controversial plans to build a wind farm that campaigners claim would decimate the beauty and character of the Lammermuir Hills in the Borders. ..."I urge every single person who feels the same passion and admiration for the heritage of Scotland's landscapes as I do to support this protest."

ProfessorDavid Bellamy OBE has joined the fight against controversial plans to build a wind farm that campaigners claim would decimate the beauty and character of the Lammermuir Hills in the Borders.

The respected botanist and international environmental campaigner for over 50 years has joined the Say No To Fallago protest group and plans to speak at a protest march in the Lammermuir Hills on June 12.

It follows an application by energy giant North British Wind Power to build 48 wind turbines on the site.

Professor David Bellamy OBE said: "I heard about the plight of the local community in the Lammermuirs and immediately wanted to help. They love the region dearly and have huge concerns about the impact the Fallago Rig windfarm would have on the entire Lammermuirs.

"It is a wonderful upland landscape that has welcomed visitors into bonnie Scotland for many centuries. The Lammermuirs are a delicately balanced ecosystem of sweeping moor land, home to a variety of species of birds, mammals and other animals.

"What is so moving about this protest is the genuine passion felt not just by locals but by Scots everywhere for this unique, magnificent natural... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Professor David Bellamy OBE has joined the fight against controversial plans to build a wind farm that campaigners claim would decimate the beauty and character of the Lammermuir Hills in the Borders.

The respected botanist and international environmental campaigner for over 50 years has joined the Say No To Fallago protest group and plans to speak at a protest march in the Lammermuir Hills on June 12.

It follows an application by energy giant North British Wind Power to build 48 wind turbines on the site.

Professor David Bellamy OBE said: "I heard about the plight of the local community in the Lammermuirs and immediately wanted to help. They love the region dearly and have huge concerns about the impact the Fallago Rig windfarm would have on the entire Lammermuirs.

"It is a wonderful upland landscape that has welcomed visitors into bonnie Scotland for many centuries. The Lammermuirs are a delicately balanced ecosystem of sweeping moor land, home to a variety of species of birds, mammals and other animals.

"What is so moving about this protest is the genuine passion felt not just by locals but by Scots everywhere for this unique, magnificent natural landscape. They deserve to be protected. With hundreds of turbines already on the Lammermuir Hills, you'd think the Scottish Government would have some sensibility of the situation and acknowledge the obvious harm that would be done here.

"What has become of a Government that refuses to preserve one of its country's most outstanding natural assets - assets, which are the foundation of Scotland's most important industry, tourism?"

The group organisers hope Prof. Bellamy's involvement will raise awareness of their plight but also of similar situations occurring across Scotland.

Mark Rowley, spokesman for the Say No To Fallago group, said: "We need as much support as possible. The hills we are trying to protect are breathtaking examples of a rural Scottish landscape - something that is in the blood of every Scot in every town in Scotland. I know many people share our love for beautiful landscapes like the Lammermuir Hills.

"We were delighted when we heard from David Bellamy. He is a passionate environmental campaigner. His support will hopefully get our voice heard and compel the Scottish Government to acknowledge the local opposition."

The Say No To Fallago group has set up a Facebook group where people can register their support. It has also arranged a protest march, called "Save the Border Hills Protest Walk", to mark one of the last times local residents will be able to enjoy the landscape before a final decision is made by Scottish Ministers. Details of the march can be found on the Facebook group.

David Bellamy added: "I urge every single person who feels the same passion and admiration for the heritage of Scotland's landscapes as I do to support this protest."

The Fallago Rig application has been opposed in two public inquiries by representatives of the local communities including the Scottish Borders Council and a joint representation of the area's various Community Councils. It was even opposed by Scottish Natural Heritage, the organisation that advises the Scottish Government on landscape issues.

However, despite the local opposition, the protesters say the Scottish Government is determined to approve the Fallago Rig application despite question marks raised by the Ministry of Defence and significant concerns raised about the impact on the landscape, local wildlife, conservation efforts and recreational visitors.

The protest group claims it has yet to find a single organisation, association, public body or consumer group that supports the Fallago Rig application in the local area. Those that have joined the opposition include Community Councils, local Councils, residents and landowners.

Across the Borders there are currently 163 operational wind turbines, 92 approved but not yet built, 103 pending, 30 refused, and 48 pending appeal with scoping proposals for another 16 wind farms with a combined total of 220 turbines. The area has already approved more megawatts of wind energy power than any other Scottish authority and locals believe they have reach saturation point.

Mark Rowley added: "Fallago Rig would be built at the highest point in the entire Lammermuirs on the highest plateau in the hill range. It flouts the existing guiding principle of building wind farms on the outskirts of the hills so that the central area can retain its natural characteristics.

"One of Scotland's most wonderful and powerful facets are its beautiful landscapes, of which Fallago is a prime example. We are pleading with the Government to recognise this - let's support renewable energy, but not at any cost."

The Say No To Fallago Facebook Group can be found by cliking on the following link - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115063868535547

The Lammermuir Hills, usually simply called the Lammermuirs, form a natural boundary between Lothian and the Borders. They span the areas of East Lothian Council and the Scottish Borders Council, and extend from Gala Water to St. Abb's Head.

The hills are crossed by only one major road (the A68), which crosses the shoulder of Soutra Hill between Lauder and Pathhead.

Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor is set in the area, as is Gaetano Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor which is itself based on Scott's novel.


Source: http://www.bordertelegraph....

JUN 1 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/26571-wind-farm-generates-debate
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