Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from UK
The wind farms will require massive excavation of this ultra-sensitive and increasingly rare area, with consequent disturbance to the fragile ecosystem and hydrology, including the release of damaging gases to the environment. Dava Moor is also an invaluable wildlife corridor, running from the River Spey to the River Findhorn, for a huge array of bird life which will be vulnerable to the wind turbines....The SNP Scottish Executive needs to reassess the renewable energy policies of the previous Labou-led administraton to bring an end to the land-grab that has ensued around Dava Moor and elsewhere in the Highlands.
But then there is the problem of wind turbines. Research in the US and Europe has linked big turbines to bat mortality. In Britain, there has not been enough research yet, but bat conservationists are particularly concerned about micro turbines on houses. "We've had reports of bats killed by micro turbines. It's possible they pose a greater threat because they could be placed right where bats regularly commute," says Williams. "We need to undertake more research. BCT naturally supports all these strategies to reduce energy waste and increase renewables. Our only fear is we don't know what the impacts are on bats and if they go ahead on a large scale before we know, it may be too late."
Environmentalists have warned that the creation of offshore wind farms poses a "potentially devastating threat to whales and dolphins". The report in Saturday's edition of The Independent revealed that the noise during construction, which includes pile driving into the sea bed, could be heard by marine creatures in shallow water up to 80km away and could damage their hearing at close range. It is also claimed by the group, The Conservation of British Cetaceans, the noise could lead to dramatic changes in behaviour at distances of up to 20km.
The growth in offshore wind farms, a central part of the Government's fight against global warming, poses a potentially devastating threat to whales and dolphins, a report said yesterday. Noise during construction - such as pile driving - can be heard by marine creatures in shallow water up to 80km away, damage their hearing at close range and causing dramatic changes to behaviour at distances of 20km. The laying of cables and disturbances caused by service boats means the acoustic impact continues long after the building is over, the Whale and Dolphin Society said. Only five wind farms are in operation in the UK although seven are under construction with 14 more planned. By 2020, offshore wind power is expected to account for 20 per cent of the UK's energy needs.
In the blood of every Briton runs at least a little seawater. We sing of the sea, romanticise our maritime heritage and regard the beach holiday as a nationally affirming birthright. Every year we potter in our millions down to the sea with bucket, spade, snorkel, jet-ski, paperback, shark defence kit and inadequate quantities of suncream. Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside; but we have a strange way of showing it. For the past 300 years or so, we have poisoned and plundered the sea; we have destroyed the seabed, killed the fish and bemired the vast oceans with our waste. We wring our hands at the pollution and devastation we have visited on the land, but because we cannot see what is happening beneath the dark waters surrounding this island we somehow assume it will mend itself...........The Bill is not simply some worthy Magna Carta for beleaguered British fish, since it also sets out clear rules for exploiting the sea by fishermen, oil prospectors, dredgers and energy farmers. The Bill will make it far easier to build and operate offshore wind farms, developments to harness wave power, and schemes for storing carbon emissions from power stations in former oilfields. So far from ducking the issue, as successive governments have done, the marine Bill aims to balance competing interests and face up to the inevitable but not insoluble conflict between exploitation and preservation. But in politics, as at sea, the weather changes quickly. The marine Bill, promised in Labour's manifesto of 2005, was expected to become law within a year, but suddenly it seems to have slipped off the political agenda. Gordon Brown did not even mention marine protection in his summer statement, and the marine Bill is not included in his planned legislative programme for next year. The Bill has been kicked into the long seaweed. It is the big one that got away, again.
Our seas must have proper protection - now! In due course, we shall be organising signature sheets in support of this Marine Bill and hope the people of North Devon will show this new Government that we are as keen to protect creatures living in our oceans as we are to protect our local wildlife and landscapes.
"There's a direct problem with bats and birds of prey, but it's very difficult to get solid knowledge because the people who put the environmental statements together for the wind power developers underplay the situation and underestimate the ornithological and ecological interest in the area. They say, ‘no evidence' but, actually, the evidence hasn't been gathered.
Visitors spend horseback holidays roaming the high moor around Ford Moss Nature Reserve and neighbouring grassland then take beach rides on Holy Island Sands. Many return on a regular basis, like the group of ladies from Cambridgeshire who made a pact several years ago to book the same few days every year. It is part of Ford and Etal Estates and is a good example of a rural diversification enterprise. Dickie Jeffreys, who runs the riding centre with his wife Jane, says: "This is beautiful countryside, totally unspoilt - and it's what our business relies on. The wildlife here is so vivid and real. Can you imagine 360-foot high turbines here? It's an absolute scandal." Ford Moss is a nature reserve where, quite apart from the wildlife, the trees sink into the bog the bigger they get. It's millions of years old - some of the moss found there is unique to the area. Nearby is Routin Lynn, an ancient British settlement with a waterfall said to have magical powers. It is in the care of English Heritage. Mr Jeffreys adds: "It's a very, very special place and it'll be surrounded by inefficient turbines. And, the horses will be terrified - a wind turbine is not a noise they understand, they hate hissing sounds."
A rare bird has been killed after getting caught in the blade of a wind turbine in Stirlingshire. The red kite, one of the rarest birds in the UK, was discovered at the Braes of Doune wind farm near Stirling. Wind farm owner Airtricity said the death had been "unfortunate" and added that it had carried out a risk assessment on the red kite population. This, it said, was done in consultation with other agencies such as the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Golden eagles are gravely threatened by a £200m wind farm scheme proposed for the Hebridean island of Lewis, campaigners have warned. Three of the predatory birds a year could be killed in collisions with turbine blades - the highest mortality from any wind power project in the UK. The figures come from the developer's own environmental statement.
Concern about dangers to Britain's biggest birds of prey from windfarms came as 15 White-tailed Eagle chicks were flown to Scotland for a new comeback scheme. The youngsters, when able to fly, will be released in about two months in the first phase of a new project to restore this species to eastern Scotland where it was wiped out by human persecution almost 200 years ago. Now they [up to 80 more to be released over the next four years] and the new population in the Hebridean islands following a similar, post-1970s re-introduction project will face a new hazard - if they happen to move into areas well stocked with wind turbines.
A controversial application for a 14 turbine windfarm in a scenic area of Argyll frequented by young golden eagles will be debated by planners this summer. A proposal by npower renewables to erect a windfarm at Allt Dearg, on moorland south of Lochgilphead overlooking Loch Fyne, was lodged with Argyll and Bute Council a year ago. A host of objections on various grounds came in, including visual impact and the potential adverse impact of the windfarm on golden eagles and other local rare bird species.
New Scientist's report on the large number of bats succumbing to wind turbines reinforces a common misperception - that the blades move slowly (12 May, p4). It is true that the blades of older, small wind turbines rotated rapidly and so would appear to a bird or bat as a semi-solid disc to be avoided. Modern 2-megawatt wind turbines make an apparently lazy 10 to 20 revolutions per minute, but the blades are around 40 metres long. Simple geometry shows that the blade tips travel at between 150 and 300 kilometres per hour. For a bird or bat in misty weather, these aircraft-sized blades appear from nowhere at intervals of between 2 and 4 seconds, a scenario that even a fighter pilot would find alarming.
Bats are being put in danger by the increasing number of wind turbines in Lincolnshire, it has been claimed. Some conservationists have said turbines in the US and Europe have had a serious impact on bat populations. The Bat Conservation Trust has called for talks with the renewable energy industry for more research ahead of more wind farms being built. But the local Green Party dismissed the idea saying there was no evidence impact was significant.
Energy giants wanting to string massive pylons through a Highland bird sanctuary based their homework on "scant information," according to a leading naturalist. Sir John Lister-Kaye, director of the Aigas field centre at Strathglass, yesterday told the public inquiry into Scottish and Southern Energy's planned Beauly-Denny transmission line upgrade he was "dismayed" the company had failed to tap into an environmental databank he and his staff had spent 30 years collating. Pointing to a significantly different account of bird flight-paths, the author said the only logical conclusion he could come to was that "the applicants' survey was inadequate". And he said the results suggested the 30 ecologists hired by SSE were "maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time".
Wind turbines in Barrow's Tesco car park are being blamed for claiming the lives of seagulls. Kamikaze birds have been coming off second best when clashing with the giant rotating blades of the eco-friendly turbines. The Evening Mail's Cornwallis page recently reported the bodies of three dead gulls were found at the foot of one of the towers two weeks ago. Now a Walney man, who did not wish to be named, has told of his surprise after a trip to buy lunch left him and his partner spitting feathers. After stepping out of their car the pair were splattered with freshly killed seagull remains after another hapless bird flew to its death.
MP Alan Whitehead has thrown his weight behind plans to protect Hampshire's marine life and to allow for the development of offshore renewable energy farms. Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead backed proposals for new legislation to halt destruction of the UK's marine environment, including the Solent.
A Shetland businessman says his livelihood is threatened by a windfarm plan. Paul Featherstone rears around 180,000 sea trout smolts annually at his hatchery in Weisdale, which - after having been grown into sizable fish in sea cages - are being sold as organic sea trout to customers throughout the UK. His business, Shetland Sea Trout Ltd, heavily depends on continually pristine water qualities in the Burn of Weisdale, which feeds the tanks baby fish are being kept in. Yesterday, he said that plans to build around 30 of the 168 turbines planned upstream of his hatchery would "seriously" affect his business. Mr Featherstone's fear is that due to major construction and engineering work the peat bog in the upper half of the Kergord Valley will be destabilised and thus massive peat run offs will flush through the Burn of Weisdale.
Leading ornithologists claimed yesterday that Highland planners had based their approval for a number of windfarms on inadequate environmental data. The warning came from RSPB Scotland which is gravely concerned that, in many cases, insufficient time is allowed to gauge flight paths and breeding patterns of birds as part of essential environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
The MP for Blackpool North and Fleetwood, Joan Humble, has urged the government to consult fishermen about plans to build offshore wind farms. Proposals for 90 turbines off the coast between Blackpool and Cleveleys are currently being discussed. Joan Humble told the Commons the needs of fisherman and the impact it will have on them must be considered. The Trade and Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, says if people want wind-farms they need to go somewhere. The turbines will be connected to the National Grid and help contribute to government targets on renewable energy. It would mean one of the world's biggest wind farms being clearly visible from the Fylde Coast. But Mr Darling said: "We do need more renewable energy and it is all very well to agree with that but then to come along and say ‘not in my backyard' - we can't proceed on that basis."