Wind farms: next steps

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 07/12/2011
What is the BMC doing about windfarms?

What is the current BMC position on windfarms? Dr Cath Flitcroft, BMC Access Officer, explains what's been going on following the BMC Windfarm Seminar in Llanberis.

The BMC Wind Farm Seminar (10 Sept, Llanberis) aimed to determine why, how, where or when we should get involved in the wind farm debate.

An initial summary of the event was published on the BMC website in late September together with an invitation for people to submit detailed comments and views to the BMC office. A questionnaire survey was also sent to a random selection of BMC members in early October to ask some more detailed questions; the response rate was 30% and a summary of the results is as follows:

  • 90% of people felt the BMC should have a view on wind farms.
     
  • People felt we should not take a blanket view for or against wind farms. The results were not clear cut - 28% said we should oppose developments, 26% felt we should support them and 28% were neutral.
     
  • People felt we should respond to proposals on a case by case basis where upland areas will be affected; decisions should be Area driven.
     
  • 75% of people said the BMC should have a general landscape policy (covering all forms of upland development) rather than a stand alone wind farm policy.
     
  • The majority of respondents felt pylons have the greatest impact on the uplands with eroded footpaths and wind farms being rated equal second.
     
  • 40% of people considered local access negotiations the most important aspect of our A&C work; 12% rated landscape issues (including wind farms) as our top priority.

Next steps

The various comments received together with the survey and workshop results have been summarised in more detail and the BMC Access and Conservation Group now plans to establish a Landscape Working Group in 2012 to consider the issue in more detail.


 



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Anonymous User
22/01/2012
Perhaps the Access and Consevation Committee needs renaming The Access Committee as they seem to have very little interest in conservation. I wonder what the views of our new patron Doug Scott are onthis issue?
Anonymous User
22/01/2012
Global warming is the biggest conservation issue for upland areas as much as for the rest of the world (if we leave aside the threat of inundation facing low lying islands and coastal areas).
Anonymous User
22/01/2012
It seems perverse to try and conserve something by blighting it with unsightly eyesore to combat global warming. I am moved to ask what is the point of conserving something if you ruin it in the process? I am all for renewable energy alternatives but wind farms destroy the very thing they are supposed to protect, namely our countryside, climate and greenspaces.
Anonymous User
24/01/2012
"Global warming is the biggest conservation issue for upland areas as much as for the rest of the world "

Not it isn't.

Wind farms are a blight on the landscape. The numbers don't stack up (except for those companies receiving subsidies) and are a poor source of energy as they either clutch out or burn out.

Harnessing tidal and wave energy would be a far better path to follow

Anonymous User
26/01/2012
Change inevitably happens. What are conservationists trying to conserve? - most likely something which has already seen significant sculpting from the activities of human kind anyway. In years to come, people may view windfarms to be innocuous and as much a "natural" part of the landscape as the old "Dutch" style of wooden windmill? - would the conservationists oppose the refurbishment of these old classic features of our landsacpe? - I suspect not. People have become accustomed to and enjoy the modern comforts that generated power brings them - would they rather have them provided by burning more fossil fuels or even more nuclear power or would they rather give up some of those power-brought comforts? - we cannot have the cake and eat it. Very few will want to go back towards the dark ages so we either have to move forward or hold the status quo, (whereupon the benefits will become distributed across an ever increasing, power hungry population, resulting in a decrease in overall living standards for each individual). What do people want for the next generation? - reduced living comforts or some features in the landscape which may eventually appear barely noticeable to anyone? Are windfarms really a significant issue? - I wonder whether the BMC has given consideration to the collective amount of environmental polution that the UK population of (urban) climbers/walkers produce in driving out to the (rural) venues for the enjoyment of their activities? - could this possibly be a more significant issue, more deserving of action?
Anonymous User
05/01/2013
The policy should be against AGAINST windfarms in mountainous areas, National Parks and similar locations and no policy at all in other areas.

The BMC does NOT have any responsibility for planning the energy needs of the country. So the idea that we have to "support windfarms for the greater good" does not work.

Just imagine a planned quarry on the top of Scafell Pike. We do NOT have to weigh up the pros and cons or the need for minerals - we can just say "not here mate". Same with windmills - we can say "not here mate".
Anonymous User
03/03/2013
Wind farms are beautiful and improve the natural landscape.

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