24 June 2011




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.


But do Falck Renewables care about this? No. Not a bit of it.

This is what they are proposing: A wind power plant barely 200m from the boundary of the SSSI & SAC. Interestingly, they have named the plant not after the mountain who’s 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 coires.  This surely is a windfarm 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 Highland Council have announced that there will now be a new consultation, this time at Culbokie on the Black Isle, where many (if not most) of the houses overlook the planned site. Originally of course, these directly-affected people were going to be ignored. The consultation is to take place at Findon Hall, Culbokie on 19th July between 3pm and 7.30pm.



More details can be found on the excellent WindFarmAction Site.


  1. FFS is all I can say. Thanks for the info Alan.

  2. Surely this must be the time that SNH, the guardians of Ben Wyvis NNR stand up and be counted. Not a word from the RSPB yet. Like the Loch Ness Ring of Steel we now have the cumulative effect of Fairburn, Novar 1 and Novar extension, Corriemollie, Lochluichart and now the proposed extention and also Strath Brora and Lairg. These are not a couple of turbines in a farmers field as per wind farms in Mr Salmond's Constituency. These are massive wind factories in excess of 50 mw each and therefore to a great extent outside local planning controls and approved by Energy Consents based in the centre of Glasgow at Atlantic Quays.

  3. Once again, I can't begin to describe how sad and angry these proposals make me feel. Why do the powers that be just not get it?

    Where is the proposal to put a wind farm by the Scottish Parliament (and the English Parliament, come to that)? Surely, enough wind emanates from there to solve our power crisis?

  4. Hi Alistair. It's really important to write to the planning inspector, when he is appointed, to let him know the strength of feeling against this proposal. We all need to do it. Every Munroist should write.

    JohnG: I will try to put a map together to show the concentration of what is being proposed - it may take a few days as I am about to be very busy.

    Jules: If you could pen a few words on your blog to let people know about this I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  5. Scottish National Heritage Mission Statement

    ‘All of nature for all of Scotland’

    Scotland’s natural heritage is its wildlife, habitats, landscapes and natural beauty. Scotland is renowned for its attractive scenery and wild places and has a huge diversity of landscapes, habitats and wildlife. These are part of what makes Scotland special and are among the country’s greatest assets.

    Scottish Natural Heritage is funded by the Scottish Government. Our purpose is to:

    •promote care for and improvement of the natural heritage

    •help people enjoy it responsibly

    •enable greater understanding and awareness of it

    •promote its sustainable use, now and for future generations.

    All our work supports our mission: All of nature for all of Scotland.

    Can we expect strong support against Ben Wyvis and Glenmorie then

  6. And.....

    Just to add to the misery of subsidising wind we are now going to be subsidising gas in order for the gas fired power stations to stand idle when the wind does blow. You couldn't make it up, could you!


    and weep.

  7. It is straight out of Kafka, Alan.

    Couple of other things I was reading recently: the Government is desperate to prevent Ofgem and the Utilities from displaying on our bills exactly how much money we're paying for their folly. The Utilities companies wanted to itemise bills so that it would be transparent how much of the increase in bills is due to 'climate change' legislation. The Government is panicking about this of course so they're doing all they can to block that move.
    Secondly, on another post you were wondering how Kate Humble could support wind. Well, apparently the BBC are so keen on promoting wind because their pension funds have heavily invested in wind!
    By the way, for the record, there's at least another Munro with turbines on its flanks, and that's Beinn Bhuidhe by Loch Fyne. A few years ago I was coming off it and I'd already been appalled at the damage done by contractors along a new pylon line that had just been installed. There was this huge track, very muddy, erosion all over the place and lots of rubbish left by the contractors. I'm not sure whether they already knew about the wind farm but certainly the place was already a mess there. Ben Wyvis is already defaced by the Novar plant, but this new proposal just confirms the Inverness area has been earmarked for blanket development.
    As I say, wind plants have been given to us by the same folks who have given us biofuels, biomass and the euro. We'll all be going Greece's way before too long...

  8. Alan, when you know who the planning inspector is, please could you inform us all via your blog? Thanks. I have written to Highland Council and the Scottish Misgovernment re several wind abomination proposals in the past, but it's easy to miss being informed of deadlines, etc.

    For people who don't know the mountain, Ben Wyvis is is many respects THE iconic mountain of north-east Scotland. It is to Inverness what Ben Lomond is to Glasgow. I meet many people who have been up Ben Wyvis who will probably never climb another mountain, but it makes a great contribution to appreciation of mountainous/wild places through its popularity.

    Yes, as Jules says, there are strangely no plans to stick a few turbines on Arthur's Seat. Given the misgovernment's dismissal of local objections as irrelevant to the greater cause, I would have thought it would be a great thing to do. Additionally, their blase attitude to the loss of tourist revenue should mean no worries about tourists staying away because of the blot on the Edinburgh landscape.

    My own feeling is that the Highlands are undergoing a form of colonialism, regional needs being sacrificed for the perverted wishes of folk living far away and with, to some extent, a different take on life. Salmond moans ad nauseam about Westminster, but from my perch in south Inverness, Holyrood is equally remote. Highland people are being treated like 2nd-class citizens; unfortunately, most of them don't realise. There are parallels between the Clearances and the Invasion of the Windfarms - I mean this literally!

  9. Despite numerous written and verbal requests to SSE/Hydro to inform me exactly how much of my bill is syphoned off for the purchase of ROCS I have yet to have one reply. Interesting that the suppliers want to show it separately now but the Government don't. When the Climate Change tax came in it was many months before they were persuaded to separate it on the bill.

  10. How much evidence do governments need to realise that wind power is a black hole for cash to be sucked in to..?
    I really, really despair.

  11. Hi Alan.

    I've done a piece for my blog and also linked it to the UK Walking Forum. I had intended to at some point anyway, but I glad you gave me the nudge! Cheers, Jules.,14437.0.html

  12. AndyB & John G & Steve: It's really important that these subsidies are made clear in our energy bills. The general public would then see what so call 'Green Energy' is costing them and would then delve deeper into the issue. At that point the politicians can't hide anywhere - truth will eventually out; and out them and their cronies when folk realise that they have been ripped off and their landscape despoiled.

    IanT: I will try and find out and let everyone know when the inspector is appointed.

    Jules: A great bit of work there. I see you are quite active on that forum - so thanks for getting it out there.

  13. As someone who lives close to this proposed development AND who believes that the continual spread of industrialisation across our wild hills is wrong, I will be supporting any action possible against this wind factory.
    Only a few days ago, I biked then ran up to the Cioch Mhor and gazed across at the beautiful, quiet land between it and Ben Wyvis. If this goes ahead, that whole area will be dominated by these monstrosities.

  14. I have just posted a blog as " Ben Wyvis under Threat" to which I will shortly make additions & add to Google.

  15. There's a picture of "the developer’s projection of the “viewing opportunity” of their proposed wind farm " here

    1. Thanks for that link Dave. To make it easier to find I have provided a link:
      Click HERE


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