Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from UK
The company behind controversial plans to site the world’s largest onshore wind farm in the Western Isles last night strongly denied that pressing ahead with the project would breach European rules on protecting wildlife. Lewis Wind Power (LWP), which is jointly owned by Amec and British Energy, was reacting to claims that the European Commission could rule that the proposal broke its conservation laws as other sites across Scotland had not been considered for the massive project. Wildlife campaigners yesterday argued that European directives, which are binding on member states, require developers of wind farms to look at options across the country, not just in the Western Isles. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Scotland said that the plan to build 181 turbines in Lewis was covered by these rules and, therefore, that the Scottish Executive, which will have the final say, should not give it the go-ahead.
Plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on the Western Isles could be thwarted by European officials, who believe they breach laws protecting sensitive wildlife habitats. The European commission believes that proposals to build more than 180 turbines on Lewis are flawed, because developers have failed to assess other less sensitive sites across Scotland. The Lewis turbines, each more than 460ft high, would stretch for more than 25 miles through peatland protected under European Union conservation laws. The area is home to eight species of Europe’s most endangered birds, including golden eagles, red-throated divers and merlin.
The long-running battle between country folk and government over windfarms took a new twist today as a war broke out between the Scottish Executive and a conservation body which has called for more “green” electricity generation. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and its Scottish branch have in the past angered many rural communities for being outspoken supporters of wind farms - which mainly serve towns and cities but are always located in the countryside. But the Scottish RSPB today issued an outspoken protest about re-designed plans to build the UK’s largest windfarm on the Isle of Lewis, in the Western Isles, which it says is “one of Scotland’s most sensitive and important sites for wildlife.”
On reading the letters in the press, it amazes me to discover how many so-called Greens there are out there who are in favour of industrial wind turbines being put up over our lovely Devon landscape........Anyone who has bothered to analyse the facts and figures will realise they are not economically a viable source of energy and will do next to nothing to cut CO2 emissions. They are not environmentally friendly. They are not really green.
SIR - As a keen bird watcher, I am a regular visitor to the Knowstone area and was alarmed at the proposal to put up massive wind turbines in the Batsworthy Cross area. The area is totally unsuitable for such a development. Has anyone considered how dangerous these structures would be to drivers on the busy A361? They would be an extremely hazardous distraction at such very close proximity.
Save the planet or preserve the planet? It is this dilemma which has caused so much consternation among environmental groups. For many green groups, wind farms are an embodiment of a necessary evil. We must reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels, and wind energy is a clean alternative – seen by many as preferable to nuclear power, with its questionable safety reputation and problems with waste disposal. However, there is no doubting that some of the best sites for wind farms – windswept moorland, remote rural areas – are also some of the most ecological fragile. Here wildlife, including some of Scotland’s most threatened species, can have a tentative hold on life. Place a wind farm in its midst and the environmental balance could be affected.
It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.
There are many reasons to reject the building of wind farms anywhere in Britain. A search of the internet provides ample evidence of the environmental destruction of large areas of the countryside through the installation of turbines and infrastructure. Trees and hedges cut down, roads, pylons and electrical wires installed. However, one of our major concerns is the mounting evidence that wind farms are causing the deaths worldwide of tens of thousands of bats and birds, including many endangered species. A wind farm in Germany is being shut down because of the deaths, in particular of red kites.
Plans for a new £4 million community wind farm on the Shetland island of Yell have been stalled because three pairs of nesting birds abandoned their eggs before they hatched. The North Yell Development Council (NYDC) had hoped to start erecting five 850KW Vesta turbines between the villages of Cullivoe and Gutcher next year.
THE comprehensive landscape reasons for planners recommending the IW Council turn down the controversial Wellow wind farm have been unveiled to the public, ahead of Monday’s planning decision on the scheme. Consultants acting for the IW Council concluded the six turbines, two of which are nearly 110 metres tall, would have significant adverse effects on the protected landscape, nearby homes and rights of way, and insufficient consideration had been given by applicant Your Energy to mitigating adverse effects on the countryside. Insufficient information was provided on the impact of the turbines on bats.
Martin Bellis dries himself off with his towel and gives a wry smile when asked if he is not just another Nimby objector looking after his own patch of beach against the potential encroachment of a wind farm near Faversham, Kent. “No, I’m really not. I am a supporter of clean energy and really care for the environment,” he said. “I just happen to think wind is a bit of a white elephant because it’s so inefficient and I cannot understand why anyone would choose one of the best bird sanctuaries in Europe as a site.”
A bid by a farmer and environmental campaigner to block plans for a wind farm on marshland in Kent has failed. Philip Merricks made the legal challenge arguing that the danger of birds flying into turbine blades had not been taken properly into account. The wind farm site at Walland Marsh is close to a protection area for birds. But Deputy High Court Judge Hamilton said the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, had been entitled to approve the scheme. The judge said the plans had correctly applied EU habitat regulations and had also correctly assessed the risk to bird life.
The High Court today cleared the way for a controversial wind farm which opponents say will present a hazard to birds, especially swans. Farmer and award-winning environmental campaigner Philip Merricks attempted to block plans to construct the 26-turbine wind farm at Little Cheyne Court, Walland Marsh, Kent. The site is close to a special protection area for birds. Mr Merricks challenged last October’s decision by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, to approve the scheme. He argued there had been a failure to take proper account of the danger of birds flying into turbine blades. Today Deputy High Court Judge Hamilton rejected the argument and ruled Mr Darling had been entitled on the evidence before him to give his approval.
The billionaire was understood to have concerns over revised plans for a wind farm off the Aberdeen coast which may affect views. The Scottish RSPB has already expressed concern over the impact of both planned developments. When Mr Trump visited the proposed site of his development he expressed concern about the wind farm.
THE ROYAL Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Scotland has published a map indicating that nearly all of Shetland is too sensitive to build wind farms. The society hopes the map, which was presented to the British Wind Energy Association on Tuesday, will reduce the conflict between wind farms and birds of high conservation concern by urging developers to avoid the most important sites.
A NEW map is published today showing areas where wind farms pose a threat to the welfare of native birds. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will present the map to the British Wind Energy Association conference in Glasgow, in the hope developers will avoid the most sensitive sites.
There are now 10 dead WTE found at Smola since August 2005.'’ (dated October 2).All soaring raptor and many large slow-flying bird are at serious risk, having no natural defence against 100mph blade tips.
A wind-farm proposal has been abandoned because the area where it was to be built is used by golden eagles and red kites. Perth-based Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has confirmed it will not proceed with its proposal to build 20 turbines at Glen Tarken, near Comrie.
The presence of golden eagles and red kites in a Perthshire glen has convinced an energy company to pull the plug on plans for a windfarm. Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said last night it has axed plans for 20 wind turbines in Glen Tarken, near Comrie, after analysing bird data gathered there over the past few years. The surveys showed the site’s northern area was used by golden eagles and the southern area by red kites - both rare species. After consulting with local RSPB officers, SSE concluded the 30MW windfarm could pose a risk to the birds.
Plans to build a massive windfarm in Shetland are unlikely to be opposed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), it emerged this week. Wildlife lobby group Proact is organising a petition calling on the RSPB to step up its opposition to wind farm developments in the UK. So far the petition has been signed by over 3,000 people. However, RSPB Scotland has responded by saying that it considers applications to develop wind farms on a case-by-case basis.