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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Highland Council rejects Clath Liath wind farm

In June 2011 I wrote about Falck Renewables’ plans for a huge wind farm on the slopes of one of Scotland’s iconic Munros, Ben Wyvis.

Ben Wyvis, a Munro standing 1046m above sea level, is a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation.

This application is for a wind power plant barely 200m from the boundary of the SSSI & SAC. Interestingly, they have named the plant not after the mountain whose shoulders it sits upon but a tiny spot to the east of the turbines in the forest, whose place name is only shown on the OS 1:25k mapping, Clath Liath: No doubt hoping it would remain a low profile application.

You will note that the first of the 125m high turbines is nearly at the summit of Meall na Speireig and opposite the entrance of Coire Mor, the biggest and grandest of Wyvis’s corries.  This surely is a wind farm too far as it is of a far greater height than the existing Novar turbines (see map above) and much too close to a major mountain.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland fought this application and the good news is that today Highland Council rejected the application. Yesterday Highland Council also rejected Glenmorie & Dalnessie wind farms.

Of course, these three wind farms are of a size which means that they will now go to appeal and Fergus Ewing will have the final say. As an ex member of a mountain rescue team you would have thought that perhaps these iconic wild places would now be safe. But think again. When it comes to wild land’s survival, Fergus Ewing has a track record worse than that of the Black Death.

80 comments:

  1. The mist was down on the summit of Ben Wyvis when I walked over it, so I had limited views. A wild,wonderful mountain and its impressive with its size Alan. To think its still not safe from wind farms and its fate rests with Ewing is wrong. Where is the justice and fairness if its down to him? A unfair and unjust land ruled by the SNP it seems. Those in Power living far away lording it over the things that impact on local people. SNP shame on you.

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    1. Scotland is a beautiful country and many of the SNP's policies are to be applauded. However, their single-minded attempt to industrialise Scotland's wild land purely for monetary gain, concealed beneath the fig-leaf of renewable energy is an absolute disgrace.
      Fergus Ewing should be ashamed of himself. Some of his wind farm decisions have been nothing short of scandalous.

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  2. Good piece Alan.

    With regard to Glenmorie SNH stated it clearly and bluntly: "Wild Land.
    This proposal will have an adverse effect on the integrity of a Search Area for Wild
    Land. We therefore consider that this proposal raises natural heritage issues of
    national interest. As a result we object to this proposal."

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    1. Hi Chris

      I found it staggering the Highland Council's own in-house planning advisor told the planning committee to accept the wind farm. Of course, they did this for Allt Duine as well.

      The Allt Duine inquiry should be reporting any-time now. Let's hope that finally gets kicked into touch. If it is approved, it will be there forever as huge black stain on the SNP Government's record.

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  3. He wrote this on his website:

    "It’s my pleasure and privilege to serve this beautiful part of Scotland and to fight our corner in Edinburgh."

    He claims to serve and yet vast amounts of wind farms are planned to be built ruining the beautiful part of Scotland he claims to serve.

    Also as wind farms impact on tourist trade he is making decisions as a minister that helps one area and impacts on another he has a duty to protect and serve. He is after all responsible for Tourism as well.

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    1. Well pointed out, Martin.
      The choice of combining the two roles of Energy and Tourism is a deliberate & cynical abuse of the planning system.

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  4. Fergus Ewing. Is he perchance related to JR? Seems to have the same appreciation of natural environment

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    1. I must be getting old - I stared at this comment for a good few seconds before the penny dropped.
      :-)
      JR Ewing was a loveable fictional rogue, whereas Fergus Ewing has real power and is wielding it to destroy Scotland's wild land. The man is a complete arse.

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  5. It's a good initial result, and there is a window of opportunity here to create some real momentum.

    The Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee is looking again at a petition for a new Wild Land designation to protect places of high scenic and wildlife value, next Tuesday 19 February. Please write to your MSP, or if you are outside Scotland, then please write to Paul Wheelhouse (the minister for Environment and Climate Change). More details and a template letter can be found here:

    http://www.jmt.org/wildland-designation.asp

    Please write, especially if you have never written before, and again if you have ;) It's quite short notice, as the announcement was only made in the last 48hours, but please write in the next few days, and help keep the pressure up. Cheers

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    1. Thanks for the nudge, David.

      Could I urge all our congregation to do this? The more strong the condemnation and pointing out the risk to Scottish tourism (Ewing's second ministerial hat) should make them listen.

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  6. Fergus Ewing should listen to SNP councillors, one of whom made an excellent speech on wild land in the wind farms debate, as one did at the Allt Duine debate. There seems to be a disconnect between SNP local councillors and SNP national ministers.

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    1. Good point Chris.
      The SNP local councillors are nearer their constituents, whereas the SNP MSPs are more Edinburgh-centric - a geographic problem they should be fully aware of, as they bang on about Westminster being too remote to care about Scotland one hell of a lot!
      :-)

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  7. Tourism worth nearly £11billion to Scotland in 2010-11. That's total spend, both overnight (£4.5b) and day visits (£6.2b)

    More info here: http://www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/tourismstatistics/national_statistics/tourism_in_scotland.aspx

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    1. Thanks for that David
      You would have thought that the Scottish Government would be more worried about the effect of wind farms, wouldn't you?
      However, the Highland hospitality industry is very alarmed at the proliferation of wind farms and never loses an opportunity to voice its opinions.

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    2. The topic reminds me the foot and mouth scandal back in 2001. The Lake District was basically closed because of the farmers. But the result - although I never saw it actually documented - was enormous damage to the tourist industry - the hotels, small guest houses, pubs etc.

      I don't want to start any fist shaking one way or the other but it seemed to me then, and still does, there's a perverse but very powerful sympathy and support for farmers - I say this as a vegetarian who knows very well how it is not necessary to rear and kill animals to eat.

      Are there any vested interests with the land owners and farmers? - are they, for example, being offered substantial sums if they allow the turbines on their land?

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    3. For the 33 Turbines erected on the Dunmaglass Estate, Sir Jack Hayward (who lives in some considerable style in the Caribbean) will receive £9 million over 25 years.
      That's about £11,000 per turbine per year. This is the going rate for large turbines in Scotland.

      Nice earner, eh?

      Delete
  8. I have my fingers crossed for round two. Just checking out the link from David.

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    1. Thanks James.
      I've just read your excellent post on the Dalnessie wind farm. Readers who don't follow James' excellent blog (and why not???) can find his post by clicking HERE
      :-)

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    2. Cheers Alan. Thanks for providing that link David. I have just written a letter and emailed it to Paul Wheelhouse. Anyone else who values wild land please do the same. It only took me 20 mins.

      Delete
  9. David Lintern has written a great piece on wind farms today: Click HERE for a calm look at the industrialisation of wild land.

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  10. And you can find an excellent piece that ties all this together over at Chris Townsend's blog by clicking HERE

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  11. Here's my letter, sent to Paul Wheelhouse

    Paul Wheelhouse MSP
    Minister for Environment and Climate Change
    St Andrew’s House
    Regent Road
    Edinburgh
    EH1 3DG

    Dear Mr Wheelhouse

    BETTER PROTECTION FOR SCOTLAND’S WILD LAND

    I am hill walker living in the south of England. Every year for the last twenty years I have spent two weeks of my annual leave walking in Scotland’s wild hills and glens. That’s a lot of time spent wandering about your country’s beautiful country, and I might add, a lot of money spent bolstering the Highland economy.

    I have never written to a Scottish Minister before but I feel that I have to make the effort to tell you my feelings in the hope that you will listen and prevent any further damaging wind farm development on Scotland’s wild land. I say this, because if you continue to industrialise Scotland’s wild places I will no longer want to spend my holidays and hard-earned cash in Scotland.

    I am writing to express my support for the John Muir Trust’s call for a new national environmental designation to protect Scotland’s wildest places. Scotland’s wild land is an asset of national and international importance but it is coming under unprecedented pressure and urgent action is needed to protect it.

    The John Muir Trust submitted a petition PE1383: “Better protection for wild land” to the Scottish Parliament in January 2011, calling for a new national environmental designation to protect the wildest parts of Scotland. Over half of Scotland’s wildest land has no statutory protection and is therefore at risk as development pressures increase.

    There is strong public support for action - according to a major survey completed in July 2012 , 86 per cent of the public surveyed believe further action is needed to preserve wild land in Scotland. Of those who believe that further action is needed to protect Scotland’s wild land, the most widely supported measure was the introduction of a “wild land” designation.

    These survey results should give politicians from all political parties the confidence to take immediate action and put protection measures in place. In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, the Scottish Government has a fantastic opportunity to take action for Scotland’s wild land and secure its protection for future generations. A designation for Scotland’s best wild land would play a key role in restoring, maintaining and preserving this asset of national and international significance.

    I urge you to take action to protect our last wild land. Without better protection, we could lose our last areas of wild land and renowned natural landscapes. Please, don’t let our natural world disappear.

    I look forward to your assurance that you will support action to protect Scotland’s wild land.

    Yours sincerely

    Alan Sloman

    **********
    ********
    *********
    Berkshire

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  12. You can also find another really good piece on the Sutherland wind farms from "Benvironment" by clicking HERE

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  13. Thanks for the update Alan, and the excellent letter you have penned. I will find the time to write as well. I have my own battle as well see my post this evening. http://markswalkingblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/wind-turbine-planning-application-near-to-my-home/

    Mark

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    1. Readers can click on this link for easy access to Mark's blog post: LINK

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  14. Excellent letter Alan.

    Good news on the Clath Liath windfarm - for the moment at least. Mind you, to judge by Cameron McNeish’s ‘The Scottish National Trail’ programmes, there are no wind turbines in Scotland. Certainly none were shown and the threat to the landscape wasn’t mentioned once. Mr Salmond was, however, shown inaugurating The Trail. It’s a big step from refusing to share a platform with Jim Mather in Aviemore (2010 I recall) to featuring Alex Salmond on one of his ‘shows’. No surprise really.

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    1. I find Cameron McNeish's position on wind farms interesting. Occasionally he speaks out about them - indeed he has been quite vocal about Allt Duine recently, and wind farms in general.

      However, what I find difficult to come to terms with is the fact the he appears to continually duck the opportunity to speak out about wind farms at the most crucial times; when he has the ear of the SNP hierarchy.

      An example of this was a few months back when he was a guest speaker at the very large "Say Yes" rally in Edinburgh.

      On his blog he published the speech he was to deliver, which included a section that was strongly critical of wind farm policy in areas of wild land. All well and good, you might think.

      However, when it came to deliver his speech in front of the massed ranks of the SNP faithful, I am reliably informed that he didn't read this section out at all.

      One has to wonder why. A cynic might suggest that he knew he needed Salmond's support to launch his Scottish National Trail (sponsored by Gore-Tex) and he didn't want to upset the apple cart. He maintained the programme was running late and he was asked to keep it brief...

      As you point out, Gibson, there is no mention of wind farms in the programme he did on the S.N.Trail and in all the television programmes I have seen McNeish front or appear in, he never mentions them, apart from an occasional oblique reference like "and of course all this wilderness might soon be lost" from which I suppose we are to infer because of wind farms or perhaps new bulldozed hill-tracks.

      In all his years of editing TGO - and I have been a loyal reader since 1993, he had a tremendous opportunity to write intelligently about the pros and cons of wind farms. There were occasional articles that cropped up but they were just "another wind farm is planned for" articles - a fig leaf to hide behind that gave the impression that TGO were "anti-wind warm in wild places."

      Roger Smith, on the other hand, writes passionately about saving wild land and he wrote a nice article about the "Wake for the Wild" anti-wind protest.

      No, I have come to the conclusion that McNeish is only interested in "Brand McNeish" and, as he once said on twitter to me "there are more important things in life apart from wind farms" - which was his reason for supporting the SNP. He then blocked me as I told him that I was appalled at this and had saved a copy of his tweet.

      I suppose that's the measure of the man. His head is stuck so far up his arse he can't, or won't, see the wind turbines.

      Delete
    2. Cameron believes that we'll get used to seeing turbines and accept them as part of the landscape. IIRC, he compared them to the large blocks of conifers planted in the 70's and 80's. (And we all know how they add to the scenery) He reckons we'll just stop noticing them after a while.

      What a fanny.

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    3. Hi Kev
      If that's true that is really depressing.

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    4. It is true Alan. He said exactly that on his 2011 broadcast of a walk from Aberdeen to Inverie. He has lost all credibility (if he ever had any) and just needs to keep quiet really.

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    5. That is deeply depressing, Gibson.

      I'm pretty sure McNeish *does* believe that industrialising the countryside is a very bad thing - if you remember, he would even kick over cairns on hillsides and mountains as they detracted from the natural environment - he was quite passionate about that.

      I believe that he has more an eye on his income. We all know what happened to David Bellamy's career with the BBC when he made his views known about man made global warming. Perhaps it's just Cameron's way of looking after his family? Then, maybe, he could be forgiven.

      I wonder if he will express his views more clearly once he has retired and has his pension. Let's hope so. Only a few more years to wait and see.

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    6. Cameron does express his views clearly if you bother to look and has done more to combat wind farms than most. Attacking him is attacking an ally. Try this from last December: http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2012/12/26/mcneish-allowing-allt-duine-turbines-hypocrisy-in-natural-scotland-year

      Or this from last June: http://www.cameronmcneish.co.uk/2012/06/proposal-for-wind-farm-on-ben-wyvis/

      Of course if knocking Cameron is more important than protecting wild land please continue.

      Delete
    7. Chris.

      I won't let that slight go. I stand right behind everything I have written in this thread. I have already made reference to one of the articles you have pointed us to - his stance on Allt Duine - I wrote [Cameron]" has been quite vocal about Allt Duine recently, and wind farms in general."

      However you have not dealt with the fact that where Cameron McNeish would have the most impact - on his many television appearances and on public platforms with the SNP - he has totally ducked the issue.

      I have even pondered, in his defence in this comment thread why this might be the case - citing the example of David Bellamy and the BBC.

      I believe I have more than fair in what I have said. Others seem to think so as well.

      The general non-hillwalking public are mostly unaware of these issues. However, if someone of the public stature of Cameron McNeish were to tell them on the telly what was really going on, then the picture would be totally different. However he hasn't and so it isn't.

      He ducked it. Full stop.

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  15. Now, I know you guys are mainly interested in wind farms in the Highlands, but I see from today's papers that Young Fergus has just waved through an appeal for a development in the Glenluce area of Galloway. The interesting point for me about this one is that part of the "Community Bribe" is the funding of two rangers for the SUW for 25 years ! Well, we will see how that one works out.

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    1. Ta for that, OM
      Well, I suppose the two rangers will be able to point out to the struggling SUW walkers where the wind farms are when the clouds are down.
      The Southern Uplands are rapidly becoming one colossal wind farm. There won't be many miles where the walker will not be able to view the turbines.

      I suppose this is a bit like Coke & Cadbury's sponsoring the Olympics. And of course SSE's sponsorship of Highland & Islands Tourism Awards (LINK) That's a bl**dy joke, if ever there was one!

      Delete
  16. "McNeish is only interested in "Brand McNeish" well said Alan. He made a living from the hills and writing about them. So to not stand up to the destruction of wild land by the SNP with its policys is beyond belief. By standing up he needs to stand up to the SNP and say they are wrong on wind farms. Name the SNP as wrong on this.

    He had the vistas, the wonderful hill days, wrote the books and took the money. What views will the next generation see? Ones ruined with wind farms. Wild land lost.

    Kev summed him up well.

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    1. There aren't many folk who make a decent living out of the Great Outdoors as our market in Britain is so small. Where Cameron broke through is with his television career; he's a household name in a lot of Scottish homes these days. This was built from the platform of being a successful editor of TGO magazine for a very long stretch.

      You can't fault a man for his political views and I am not attacking his support of the SNP. However I do take issue with his not speaking out against the SNP on wind farms built on wild land when he has such a high profile and many opportunities to make his point clearly.

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    2. But he does speak out against the SNP Alan. This is from last month: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/01/08/cameron-mcneish-warns-scottish-government-over-cairngorms-wind-farm-plans/

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    3. Yes Chris, I also saw that article, which is why I said, with great care, that Cameron has been vocal in his support fighting Allt Duine, which is what this article deals with.

      You'll also note that it's "Colin Prior who accused the SNP of adopting a ‘Klondike’ goldrush approach to green energy which was destroying the very landscape which YNS, which he supports, aims to promote.

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    4. Yes, I did note that. It was good that Colin Prior finally spoke up. He's been very quiet on the subject compared to Cameron.

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  17. Martin, Cameron has done far more than most in campaigning against wind farms and regularly criticises the Scottish government over them and over wild land. Given all that Cameron has done I find it astonishing he should be attacked over this. The last paragraph of his Scotland End-to-End book answers the comments you have made. Try reading it.

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    1. I have not read this recent book - I was put off reading any more of Cameron's books after the Corbett book fiasco. LINK

      However, it would appear to me to be a book that is only likely to be read by hillwalkers who are interested in walking that particular trail, which is nowhere near the size of the audience of his television viewers and magazine readers.

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  18. Based on the comments here Chris we must have missed that. As for in his book. Well I am not buying it. So will we see him say the SNP on wind farms is wrong on twitter, the web where its fee and reaches all. Unlike a payed for book ???????

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    1. We have seen him say this as I've referenced - in newspapers (and their social network feeds), radio and TV. People here certainly seemed to have missed a great deal.

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  19. How many copies his book sells (actually it's doing pretty well - I wish mine sold as many!) is irrelevant.

    Anyway, Cameron does attack wind farms and government policy on TV, radio and in newspapers, as I referenced above. The same piece appeared in The Scotsman - http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/cameron-mcneish-warns-scottish-government-over-cairngorms-wind-farm-plans-1-2724654?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

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    1. Indeed. That's where National Wind Watch lifted it from.

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  20. And here's Cameron on the Ben Wyvis wind farm proposals: http://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/News/Top-mountaineer-condems-Ben-Wyvis-turbines-plan-15062012.htm

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    1. Again - tucked away in the Ross-shire Journal.

      Question: Where is Cameron on the media in which he excels - television - telling us all about the horrors of wind farms in wild places?

      Answer: Nowhere to be seen.

      Question: When Editor of the the Great Outdoors and TGO magazine. Where were the four page spread articles from Cameron explaining all about the threat to Scotland's wild places from wind farms?

      Answer: Nowhere to be seen.

      Delete
    2. I guess Cameron can never do enough for you - you seem to hate him. TGO carried so much stuff on wind farms when Cameron was editor he used to get regular complaints from readers about it. His views were everywhere to be seen.

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    3. Far from it, Chris. It might seem odd, but I have a soft spot for Cameron.

      He presented me with my plaque at the Challenge dinner in Montrose all those years ago. I'm also pretty certain that TGO would not exist as a magazine if it wasn't for Cameron's editorship. It must be tough to be the editor of a magazine with such a small circulation in a group that wants ever larger audiences.

      I also seem to recall that he looked after the transition between owners: A feat that must have been difficult to achieve.

      No - I don't hate Cameron at all. In fact, quite the opposite. I admire his tenacity and the career he has carved out for himself in a very small market.

      The point I am making is about the missed opportunity of not capitalising on that success and fighting wind farms more publicly within the media available to him.

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    4. Glad to hear it Alan. It didn't sound like it from comments like "I have come to the conclusion that McNeish is only interested in "Brand McNeish" ".

      Yes, Cameron kept TGO going through difficult times and dealt with at least two transitions of ownership.

      I don't think he's missed many opportunities. He's done far more than most. There are plenty of well-known hillwalkers, mountaineers and outdoor photographers in Scotland who never say a word about wind farms. We need more people like Cameron.

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  21. Attack! Really??? Saying "ironic" and "We call on the Scottish Government" seems hardly “ATTACK” More tepid, lukewarm, and fluffy. Attack the SNP policy and ethos on this. Say the SNP. Call it as it is. The SNP policy, and attack the heart of the issue. Don’t call it “ironic”

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    1. Sounded sensible to me. Invective is all very well but achieves nothing. The only way to stop wind farms is to persuade the Scottish government not to give them planning permission. That's the reality. Offending the Scottish government achieves nothing.

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  22. Yet he could write about the blight of Cairns on the hills. The unsightly sight and harm they bring to the views. He said destroying them was like expelling demons. And he wrote pages on the subject in the TGO. Yet on wind farms....well we know the real story now don’t we.

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    1. Yes, the real story is that Cameron has put masses of effort into combating wind farms in wild places. If only some of those attacking him would put the same effort in to fighting wind farms as he does.

      Delete
    2. Chris. I hear everything you say about what Cameron McNeish has written in those article you have linked to - thank you for providing those links - but none of it takes anything away from the points originally made in this thread:

      When it comes to occasions when he could have made a huge public statement on his TV shows and in his editorship of the TGO magazine, there is nothing

      Sad, but true.

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    3. His opposition to wind farms is very well known in Scotland. And he did put much into TGO. As I say he's done more than anyone else to combat wind farms in wild places. I think he deserves praise not knocking.

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  23. And Cameron quoted in The Sunday Times last year http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/scotland/article1012351.ece

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    1. Chris:
      That's the first article I have seem where Cameron McNeish actually comes out and says what the problem is for Scotland as a whole. I applaud him heartily for that.

      However, where his influence could carry most weight - on television and in the magazine he edited for years and years - there was a deafening silence.

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  24. Alan, I haven't time to find everything Cameron has said and written on this - there was much in the Herald - and much probably isn't on line but there was most definitely not a deafening silence, rather the opposite. Cameron has been probably the most prominent anti wind farm campaigner in Scotland. If that's a deafening silence we could do with much more of it.

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  25. More from Cameron - from his blog, which is free - http://www.cameronmcneish.co.uk/2011/04/windfarm-untruths-at-first-hand/

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  26. Finally, as I do have other things to do (like getting ready to join Terry for the Cairngorms film) I think rather than attack Cameron people should be using him because of his high profile and raiding his work for quotes that can be used.

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    1. Good luck with the weather for your filming. Everyone is looking forward to this excellent project, Chris. Give my best to El Tel
      :-)

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  27. Again, a good piece, but tucked away on his blog, which to put it slightly indelicately is a bit of a backwater compared to the media available to him at the time; Television and TGO magazine.

    You only have to watch twitter and FB to see what hill walkers concerned about wind farms think right after one of Cameron's TV shows screenings. Everyone is always disappointed that there is not a single mention of wind farms.

    It really is that simple.

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    1. I wish it was everyone. It isn't Cameron regularly gets attacked by hillwalkers who support wind farms even when he hasn't mentioned them. I get the same attacks.

      I'd also point out that Cameron is a presenter not a writer, producer or director when it comes to TV programmes. They, especially the producer, decide what appears. Most of the stuff that's recorded never appears. I was recorded discussing wind farms and the Beauly Denny line with Cameron for my bit in his End to End programme. That, along with much other stuff, never appeared but that wasn't Cameron's decision. Presenters have much less control than many people imagine. (I wonder if Terry will let me mention wind farms - and if I do I wonder if it'll be edited out).

      As for TGO, as I've said, wind farms were mentioned frequently, to the annoyance of some readers.

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    2. That's a very strong point you make, Chris, about the Producer deciding on what goes into the programme, and not Cameron. Surely, if Cameron holds such strong views on wind farms the producer would let him speak his mind?

      Who is it who produces Cameron's shows, who has this stranglehold on his views?

      Television is the medium through which Cameron is most widely know to the general public and it is the single most important medium in the world today. If he is not permitted to get his point across, if he is being censored, then we should know who is doing this.

      If his views are not being adequately aired on television why has Cameron not made this clear in the other medium where he is also has strength - magazines?

      At the end of the day, the shows he appears in are entertainment shows but there is a serious point that needs to be made within the shows: We are rapidly losing our wild places to industrialisation from wind farms and this is a very bad thing for the generations that come after ours, who will want to get away from it all into wild places. There won't be much of it left if folk like Cameron don't speak out in the most strongest terms possible on television and in outdoor magazines to prevent any further loss.

      Delete
  28. His blog is widely shared on social networking sites by Cameron himself and by others, including me, so its not that much of a backwater. His current piece on the issue of the freedom of the mountains and the current call for winter access to be restricted is getting quite a bit of coverage.

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    1. True, but in comparative terms to television and magazines, as I wrote earlier, it's a tiddler and not likely to make a lot of difference.

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    2. Alan, I think that as the David Bellamy case you quoted above proves, the fact is that either you appear on the BBC or you speak up against wind farms. I'm pretty sure Cameron was told in no uncertain terms that they would not allow him to express critical views of wind farms on his programme. It was a take it or leave thing. So I suppose for him the choice is between keeping a high public profile that lends more authority to his written pieces, or take the high moral ground and become invisible to the nation, and then his pieces in the Herald will carry less weight with the public.
      So on balance he's probably doing the right thing.
      The real scandal lies with the BBC, not with Cameron.
      They would never dare doing a piece of investigative journalism. Panorama has done plenty of programmes showing the reality of things such as abattoirs and the like, to show the public what lies behind the glossy surface.
      Will they ever show the dirt tracks, the millions of tons of concrete being poured on the hills? No, every time they show turbines it's this arty-farty shots of white giants gently swirling against a blue sky.
      That's the real shame. And although I don't like Cameron 100% of the time, on this one I've come to the conclusion that he had not choice but to keep quiet, just to preserve as much as he can of his public profile.
      I just hope he gets a chance to talk to Salmond about things. But then again, Salmond is committed to that insane target and there is only so much space in Scotland. Make no mistake, the refusal of three applications by Highland Council was all a concerted plan. We'll get one or two approvals from the Minister and they'll say: look, we turned down one out of three, what are you on about?
      Take care,

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    3. I think you're probably right about the BBC, Andy.
      It's desperately sad though that the general public are funding an outfit that is going out of its way to destroy our wild land and own't allow brook any criticism.

      That's all the more important, therefore, to speak out in the media where Cameron does hold considerable sway - his own magazine.

      Delete
  29. I guess much of the incongruence comes from Cameron's End to End Trail being opened by Alex Salmond who is determined to cover Scotland in wind turbines. He couldn't have chosen someone more inimicable to the wilderness in Scotland than Wee Eck. Even if Cameron bent his ear, I suspect that Slippery would ignore him.

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    1. I have to admit to being horrified when I saw the video of Salmond doing the opening. All those journos and photographers there - and not one of them asked any questions of Salmond on his energy policy destroying the country that Cameron is promoting.

      Delete
  30. Falck/Coriolis not to appeal wind farm rejection.

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    1. Thanks for the nudge, John

      The MCofS statement on the developers final capitulation can be found by clicking HERE

      Good news, eh?
      Let's hope that Allt Duine gets kicked out too.

      Delete
  31. It never goes away. Two more wind farms proposed for Ben Wyvis with one, a nineteen turbine monstrosity, planned to be built on Little Wyvis. Surely once one wind farm has been turned down due to it's impact on an area of iconic beauty no further applications should even be accepted. The pressure, both financial and emotional,on local residents suggests this case should be taken to the Court of Human Rights. As people faced with multiple wind farm applications will tell you it is nothing short of torture!

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on these new proposals, John.

      Wind farm developers are only interested in one thing. Money. They don't give a stuff about the environment or what local people think.

      They are carpetbaggers, milking the subsidies that you & I pay for in our electricity bills.

      Delete

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