29 December 2010


Dunmaglass Wind Factory

Renewable Energy Systems, Sir Jack Hayward and the Lib-Lab Highland Council are celebrating today the approval of a 33 turbine Wind Factory on Sir Jack’s estate at Dunmaglass in the Monadhliath. The Scottish Government’s Energy Minister, Jim Mather, said it also marked a further step towards greater use of "clean, green electricity" in Scotland.

RES’s PR company’s blurb put out on RES’s website mentions a reduction in the number of turbines from the original 36 to the “more modest” 33 but does not mention that each turbine will be taller than those first applied for and more powerful.

I remember walking through the Monadhliath in May of, I believe, 1998 and watching them construct the first windmill on top of Beinn Dubhcharaidh. They used a massive mobile crane and constructed an ugly bulldozed haul road to the top to enable the thing to be built. For the next three days, whenever I was near the top of anything, my eye was drawn to this excrescence.

That was also the year that Dunmaglass’s land agents, Bidwells, complained of walkers not shutting a gate on the estate. Everything in proportion, eh?

Chris Townsend of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland compiled the organisation’s submission to RES’s planning application; You can see that excellent submission HERE

Forget “Clean, Green Electricity” and all the other bollocks that will be trotted out to support this madness. This lot are in it solely for the money. RES, Sir Jack Hayward, the Highland Council and the Scottish Parliament should be hanging their heads in shame. 

I wonder how much explosive it takes to topple one of these generator towers?  Winking smile

6:06pm – Edited to Add:

Once built, I wouldn’t fancy walking anywhere near these structures: read THIS from the Caithness Windfarms Information Forums 2010 ( to be truly alarmed…

7:30pm: Edited to Add:

For two really excellent articles see Cameron McNeish’s take on it and Chris Townsend’s.


  1. I believe Mr. Abbey has the the answer to the last question, contained herein:

  2. Well said Alan, and of course you know my views so no need to repeat them here!

  3. Another wilderness spoilt.

    I once had a heated discussion with a Greenpeace rep. He said that when the turbines are removed the landscape will be pristine once again. He had no idea what I meant when I talked about the haul roads that scar the hillsides and which will never be removed.

    When I asked, it turned out he had never actually walked in the countryside...

  4. I wanted to write something articulate to sum up my feelings. Words escape me so I will use one word instead.


  5. Yet another appalling decision by the corrupt body politic in Scotland to join Beauly-Denny and Trumpville. I feel sick!!

  6. I am probably going that way this year, might be the last time I see the views unspoilt. My opinion of what to do to the buggers is illegal, so I'll keep quite. While I am there should I crap in their garden though?
    Hmmmm! At least mine would be biodegradable unlike the shit they are going to erect.

    It make me so mad!


  7. If you look carefully at the photographs of Salmond and Mather visiting the site prior to waving it through with their blessing, you will notice that they are both wearing Emperor (TM) Goughtex jackets.

  8. I am tempted to rant about the Scots government as I don't agree with it. I wont. Climb a Western Lakeland fell and you will see the horizon ruined by the stupid wind farms that don't ever seem to be working when the wind is blowing. Off shore and far out to sea is where they need to be. Not on what little wild land we have left. For F@&( sake if that land was in England it would be a National Park. When will the muppets who rule up there start to protect the land in their care. Kick the Barnett formula into touch and the Devolved prats who seek to ruin the landscape of their own country.

  9. I can't pretend to hold dispassionate views where turbines are concerned; even less so on the subject of that odious character Hayward (who is well known in my little corner of the world).

    This is an appalling decision; sadly probably not the last. Money, big business, politics, wild land: there was only ever going to be one loser.

  10. David: What a great Link! I think it would take more than a can of petrol for these structures....

    Gibson: Thank you - it was your post of a month ago now that started me on finding out more about this travesty.

    David! "Grrr!" indeed! These woolly environmentalists are letting these bastards get away with it by sanctioning the destruction of OUR countryside.

    James: Quite right. I can think of other even RUDER words!

    Robin: It will get worse. You just know it will. As Chris townsend has said on his blog, they have to build these Wind factories as they have approved the Beauly - Denny power line and they would look even more stupid if it wasn't used... (Is that actually possible?)

    Kenburg: Indeed.

    AKKW: Crap smeared over their windows might be more apt. However, Jack will be in his holiday home somewhere sunny, so he won't see it. (And when are you going to resume your blog???)

    OM: Would love to see these photographs, - Have Googled for them but some quite unexpected websites appeared in my browser. The girls were very becoming though...

    Martin: I don't know what to say to cheer you up, Sir. I know - take a diversion from your southerly route this year to drop a letter into the new (very ugly) Dunmaglass Lodge and ask to have a chat with the very clean, green Sir Jack. Perhaps we should all visit and camp on his lawn?...

  11. Hello Byways: Missed your comment as I was posting my last one. I agree - from what I have read of good ol' Sir Jack, he sounds like a real piece of work.

    The outdoor lobyists are like children compared to the crunching jackboot of construction, energy and the fawning politicos.

  12. Hmmm. That's right on my planned route for the Challenge, so it might be last chance to see the area before it gets trashed. How do they plan to get the power from the turbines? Does this mean more pylons as well?

  13. I seem to remember CT being specially aggressive on the TGO mag forum when defending his view on Disastrous Man-Made Global Warming, actually descending to the despicable use of the "denier" word.
    There's a clear link between that attitude, the argument about investing in renewable energy and the ugly consequences, surely.

  14. Martin - It's a pity you introduced a Scottish - English dimension to the topic by bringing up the(irrelevant in this context) issue of the Barnett formula.

  15. Mike, The issue here is not, I think, Renewable Energy, which is clearly a Good Thing, but these onshore turbines which are the Betamax system of electricity generation.
    And don't call me Shirley !

  16. Second comment: switch off the computer, GoggleEyes, and go and take a walk with yer pals. Clear all that *&^%$ out of your head.

    Piglet and Puss-Puss agree. Must be right.

  17. Just to make you grin again:

  18. Way 2 go! And Duane Eddy's a cracker too!

  19. Comments Catch-up:

    Tony: It's also bang in the middle of my route as well (and Andy Walker's and others too....)
    Can you see them burying the cables? Hah!

    Pieman: Let's not dig up old fights. However, like you, I do believe that the green movement has in effect help bring about this sorry state of affairs.

    Gibson: Agreed.

    OM: You can have today's big kiss. (They are not given out lightly, you know...)

    Peewiglet (first): I did take a calming walk to Hemingford Grey and now have square eyes again...

    Peewiglet (second): Arse! :-)

    HMP3: Between you and Shirl we have got all smiley again. Thank you poppet!

  20. A line from Cameron McNiesh superb article. “The three estates that neighbour Hayward’s Dunmaglass, along with thousands of hillwalkers and ornithologists opposed this scheme”

    So what has that and the mention of the Barnett formula got to do with the post by Alan. My answer is fairness. The Barnett is not fair. The Scottish government decision to allow this wind farm is unfair. Unfair to the landowners who have worked to make the land a greener and mores sustainable place to live and work. To allow Golden Eagles to thrive and attract real income into the Highlands without ruining the landscape.

    But at the heart of the problem is a government system that is unfair in its foundation that seems to take no interest in the views of people to stop building on its wild places wind farms and golf courses regardless of the views and wishes of those who live there. So I will defend my comment and my reason for the mention of the Barnett as it is all about unfair practise and decisions. Great post Alan by the way.

  21. Martin - the Barnett formula may or may not be unfair, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the issues involved here. There is no correlation between the Barnett formula and the Scottish Government's obsession with windfarms.

    I mostly agree with your other comments but, I repeat Martin, it's a shame that you introduced, a Scottish-English dimension to this discussion. It is irrelevant here no matter how strongly you might otherwise feel about the Barnett formula.

  22. I think we can safely leave Joel's formula out of this from here on. However, everything else you have said, Martin, I mostly agree with.

    Back to topic - I have mailed a few key people to ask how they feel about organising a protest against this decision in particular and the process of granting permission generally for these wind factories in our wild places.

    I will let you know if I get any response.

  23. Mike Knipe, I stand by my comments on climate change. But this debate is not about that. If you have to deny the science of man-made climate change to oppose wind farms then we have lost already.

    Martin, I too fail to see any connection with the Barnett formula.

  24. This discussion is all about sticking Wind Factories on top of Grade One wilderness land, not Global Warming.

    Whatever our views on GW we really should stick to the point that we oppose the destruction of the wild land by these Wind Factories. If we start to bicker on other stuff then our cause will be sunk without trace.

  25. See Hayward is back in the Country. Happy to save a football club but F*ck the wilderness!!!

  26. He likes FOOTBALL! NUFF Said!

    Sorry if you like football, but Rugby's the game!

  27. Is there anyone here prepared to make a case for windfarms? Nuclear energy seems a tough legacy for a hundred plus generations. Fossil fuels are generally agreed to be a bad idea unless you ignore the precautionary approach to the possibility that humans are causing climate dislocation. The language here seems intemperate given the scale of the challenge to discover new ways to supply future energy needs. Beloved landscapes scarred can be heart breaking. A motorway was driven through my childhood water meadows. I still resent the way motorised transport was for so long given allowed priority over people's feelings about landscape and place, but how do you run a modern economy based on railways? It seems to me that within 50 years it may be possible to disassemble windmills. That a preferred solution may be small turbines ate local levels. But I find the current alternatives to windpower unsatisfactory and unrealistic. What to do. I love Coignafearne and am relieved the windmills will be invisiblefrom the Findhorn - but that's typical NIMBY thinking.


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