BMC members: have your say on Scottish windfarms

Posted by Carey Davies on 22/11/2013
Windfarm on Eaglesham Moor, Scotland. Recent years have seen a significant expansion in onshore windfarms in Scotland, with half those with planning permission still to be built

Are you a member of the BMC or its sister body, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS?) If so, the MCofS wants to know your views on the effect of windfarms in the upland areas of Scotland.

Recent years have seen an expansion in the number of windfarms being built in Scotland, with a number of applications in the planning process earmarked for upland and mountainous areas.

If you're a MCofS or BMC member, the MCofS is asking you to take part in a short survey to gather your views on windfarms and their effect on the landscape. 

Dave Gordon, MCofS Director for Landscape and Access, says on the MCofS website:

Although few wind farms have yet been built in core mountain areas, only around half of those with planning permission have so far been built. And there are a significant number of current planning applications for large wind farms in wild mountainous landscapes.

There is almost no up-to-date evidence on the effect that the spread of wind farms is having on the recreational use of Scotland's hills. Developers and government repeatedly draw on the same few studies, some well out of date, to say that wind farms have no impact on recreation and tourism. Anecdotally, MCofS hears differently. We hear that people are beginning to avoid certain areas, are visiting less frequently, are going to Cumbria or abroad more often. But we also hear people say that it makes no difference to them.

Survey evidence has its drawbacks, but it is stronger than anecdote. So we have designed a very short survey to look at the views of MCofS and BMC members. The easiest way to complete the survey is to go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MCofSwindfarmsurvey . Easy for you to complete, easy for us to analyse. Alternatively, the survey can be downloaded and printed here, and can be posted to: The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, The Old Granary, West Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5QP. The survey will also appear in the November issue of The Scottish Mountaineer.

We need you to respond in large numbers to give us a true picture of what impact wind farms will have. What difference is the spread of wind farms going to make to your use of the hills? Please take a few minutes to help.

Please note that responses from non-members of the BMC or MCofS will not be considered for resource reasons.



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30/11/2013
This survey, while well-meaning, will almost certainly be hijacked by a vociferous minority of pro-wind members who actually have a vested interest - see my piece on hydro in North Wales for an example...

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