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Friday, 10 October 2014

An urgent call to defend Glen Affric from a big wind farm

By now, readers of this blog are becoming adept at interpreting Zone of Theoretical Visibility maps for wind farms. How I wish it wasn’t so; Why can’t these carpetbaggers take their filthy trade and piss off and leave the wild places be?

In the past I have occasionally asked you to write letters objecting to wind farms. Well this time the wild places need your help again. There can’t be many experienced TGO Challengers who haven’t started at Shiel Bridge on their walk across Scotland. They will have enjoyed the utter delight of walking through Glen Affric or high above on the Affric Hills. It is a magical place, and tourists from all over the world travel up the glen, park their cars, and roam around this fabulous place.

Well, maybe for not much longer. If a company called WPD gets its way there are going to be six turbines 400 feet tall stuck on the hillside above Tomich, to be known as the Beinn Mhor wind farm.

Here’s the ZTV map, filched from their application to Highland Council. Please click on it to blow it up and it will open in a new window.

BEINN MHOR WIND FARM FULL-ZTV 35KM

[BEINN MHOR WIND FARM FULL-ZTV 35KM – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

You can see that this wind farm will have a MASSIVE visual reach – almost all the way to Shiel Bridge!

Highland Council have made it really easy to object to this proposal. All you have to do is click HERE and you will be transported to the objections page for this wind farm. Just type in your details and a few sentences on why you think this appalling wind farm should not be given permission. Every objection is counted. It is important to send a strong message to Highland Council so they know the strength of feeling of the public.

Could you be kind enough to leave me a note in the comments section to let me know you have objected? Thank you.

97 comments:

  1. Done. One of the first places David and I visited when we married and have been back numerous times, together and with our young family and me on three of my four Challenge starts. Utterly devastating. (Youngest daughter just about to fill in her objection)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Louise.
      You've an emotional attachment to this place and to see someone go out of their way to destroy it, just for money, is heartbreaking.
      :-(

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you!
      Every objection is weighed up. The more objections, the better chance the wind farm will not be allowed.

      Delete
  3. Done, although the website was so slow I pressed submit three times. I have now received three emails so hopefully my objection will still be counted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Highland Council website has always been slow, but lately it has become painfully slow! I'm sure it's not designed to be aggravating so that folk give up trying to object?

      Delete
  4. Hi Alan,
    I just did as you requested. TGOC 2014 was my first and, I'm sorry to admit, my first long walk in Scotland for 20 years or so. I avoided the wind farms but was still struck by how much has changed in my absence. Let's hope this madness can be stopped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stephen.
      Are you applying for this year's Challenge, Sir?

      Delete
  5. Glen Affric is one of the finest of the Scottish glens and an area of outstanding natural beauty. I first visited there as a boy with my father in the early 1960s and have returned regularly to walk in the wonderful Affric hills.

    I am utterly appalled that the erection of an industrial power generation facility should be considered in such an area. Scotland has tremendous potential for expanding its tourist industry by supporting outdoor activities and such a development will have a hugely detrimental effect on tourism in the glen.

    But even without this, industrial development in wild places should not be contemplated. These places are our legacy to future generations. They will look back in horror at the despoilation to our wonderful landscape that is currently being encouraged by misguided and unscientific energy policies.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is done. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Gits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gits indeed, Sir!
      And worserer too!
      Thanks Carl
      :-)

      Delete
  7. I have added my threepenneth! Let's hope they listen, thanks for letting us know.
    Ian Booth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ian
      The more objections we make and all the threepenneth worths add up to a huge pile of dosh!
      :-)

      Delete
  8. done it and proud to have

    ReplyDelete
  9. Done. I haven't walked in Scotland for a few years now but think I must make a special effort next year before all the beautiful wild land is covered in turbines. Ive been saddened to read your reports of how many wind farms have already been built and the effect it is having. Please continue bringing this to our attention. Hopefully, collectively, we can make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are spot on Margaret. I've been visiting the Monadh Liath a lot recently to savour the wild places before its heart is ripped out.
      What a wonderful, beautiful country, governed by heartless fools.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for bring this to my attention Alan...Objection duly made.
    Sometimes the little people can win...we had a success with the cancellation of the proposed 3 monsters adjacent to Junc 37 on the M6, which would have dominated the view from the Howgills.
    Apathy is what the developers hope for I'm afraid
    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's absolutely right, Al.
      I might be giving up on Scotland, but I'm not giving up the fight to save its wild land from the incredibly stupid, greedy politicians, and all their apologists in the outdoor world who "back wind turbines in the right places" but who will never tell you where these "right places" are.

      Delete
  11. Done. Let's hope that common sense prevails over corporate money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I think the corporate money is taking advantage of the greed and foolishness of the politicians.
      Thank you for objecting, Ian.
      :-)

      Delete
  12. Daft idea! Objection made.

    Gary D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Gary.
      And you're right of course, we need to fight the ever encroaching hilltracks as well.

      Delete
  13. Objection submitted despite best efforts of the website!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary.
      The Highland Council website is a stinker, isn't it?
      :-)

      Delete
  14. Thanks for keeping us informed.
    Objection submitted.
    Fred campbell

    ReplyDelete
  15. Done, i posted my view as a tourist. The areas i wish to visit and hike in are shrinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly right, Frederic, and your comment will be particularly valuable as a tourist who makes a considerable effort in both time and money to travel to Scotland. These are the folk who Visit Scotland treasure and your objection should make them sit up and take note. Scotland's reputation abroad is being sullied by crass acts of vandalism like this.

      Delete
  16. Done.
    Definitely an Affric start this year.
    Then I am going to write Scotland off as officially ruined.
    This one is just taking the piss.
    These people must really hate Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have summed it up in one sentence, Andy:
      "These people must really hate Scotland."
      It's desperate, isn't it?
      :-(

      Delete
  17. Objection lodged, Alan. Good to see some familiar names amongst those already there, and that the weight of opinion was heavily 'against'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dave.
      I admire your fight with the Welsh wind farms. I don't know Wales very well and so I chose Scotland and in particular the Monadh Liath that has been a favourite of mine over twenty years. And then the turbines starting spreading west into the heartland of truly magnificent landscapes - I just could not believe it.

      Delete
  18. Done. Objection sent. Let's hope they listen to good sense!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Andrea.
      I'm not sure they listen to sense, but the DO listen to thousands of very angry protesters that make their lives miserable and will not let them get away with it.
      We've all been too polite, too compliant, too decent. It's time now to get forceful and promise to make their political lives very uncomfortable..

      Delete
  19. Alan
    Thanks for leting me know about this, objection lodged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Roger.
      It's a horrid job having to bang on and on about this; at the end of writing a piece I feel depressed and angry. But the hills in Scotland have brought me so much joy and happiness over the years, I feel I HAVE to go on about it or they will all go ahead and I will be guilty of letting it just happen, and I just cannot do that.

      Delete
  20. I am stunned Al. Objection lodged. Speechless for once.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Replies
    1. Thank you Chris.
      This one really is a shocker. I thought Corriemoney was bad, but this...
      *sigh*

      Delete
  22. Alan,
    Objection lodged but not showing in the list.
    Is there a delay in displaying?
    Has any petition made any difference, the plonkers are still in charge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandy
      I hope you're feeling a bit better now, Sir.
      I don't think the Highland Council works at the weekend - well, certainly not the people who run the website, it appears. I posted my objection the middle of last Friday afternoon and as far as I can see it's the lsat to have shown up on te site - and we know from here that over twenty (just from here) have added objections. I would expect to see them coming through on Monday.
      I'm not sure petitions make a difference, but official objections, like these, do seem to work. Local Councillors are now very aware that damaging the tourism industry is very unpopular and they are getting a huge amount of grief over it. The more pressure we can apply the better.

      Delete
  23. Alan,
    Done. Thanks for letting us know about this and for all your efforts to ensure a good response. I had problems submitting it and tried three times - I hope my comments show.
    This is a particularly awful proposal - such a beautiful area. Not only that, but the cumulative effect of on the Highlands and its tourism can only be destructive.
    Alan McCaffery

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thoughts exactly, Alan.
      Thank you for signing, Sir.

      Delete
  24. Done - thank you Alan for letting us know.

    For anyone who hasn't responded yet, the Standard Consultation Expiry Date is listed as 15 October, so please get your comments in by the 14th to be safe. Thanks.

    Jaya John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that nudge, JJ
      I'll send out reminders on twitter for a final push.
      :-)

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. Thanks Gibson.
      It's all pretty hopeless, isn't it?
      But Affric is so special, surely they can't destroy it?
      Surely?
      :-(

      Delete
    2. Sorry Alan. This should have been a reply not an isolated comment:

      You'd think this proposal wouldn't stand a chance of being approved, but the people who decide these things simply don't see the world as we do so it's impossible to say. Destruction is in their genes.

      Delete
    3. Absolutely spot on about the people who wield the power, Gibson. True colours didn't take long to show when it came to the Scotrail franchise, did they? Within three weeks of supposedly "campaigning for the soul of a nation" and "putting Scotland first", the Scottish executive are rejecting the incumbent operator - a company based in Scotland - and awarding a long franchise (10 years from memory) to an overseas bidder; and a state-owned one to boot. It would almost be comical if it wasn't so tragic.

      Does anybody really buy that that decision wasn't already taken before referendum day?

      I read recently the list of foreign-owned businesses who are receiving UK taxpayer subsidy on one hand, while paying out dividends to overseas shareholders on the other. It was a long list and big amounts (transport, energy, utilities...).

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. Thank you David.
      I see there's over 1300 objections at the moment, and rising.
      :-)

      Delete
  27. Done. Thanks for the link to the Council webpage make it so straightforward.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Done Alan. Yet again thanks for the heads up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Richard!
      Will you two be on the walk next year?
      Thanks for making the effort and objecting, Sir.
      :-)

      Delete
  29. Well, I've added my 2p, for what its worth. No doubt my comment will show once the Highland Council's elves have scrutinised it and removed the foul language and abuse ;-) I must say, on my recent visit to Loch Affric I was rather surprised to see Corriemony in the distance. These things, even far off, provide a flickering and unwelcome distraction in an otherwise unspoiled landscape. For all the appeal of the "challenge family" that you have referred to elsewhere, Alan, I am still considering whether next year's TGOC will be my last. There are many great places left, but to plan a continual unspoiled traverse of the Challenge area is becoming ...er...challenging!

    Plenty of other places to go, and zipping off to europe is just as cheap (sometimes cheaper) than Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to see you up & about, Lord Elpus!

      Or perhaps this was dictated and Miss Whiplash did the honours with the typewriter while you lay on the couch, swathed in mohair blankets whilst sipping consomme from a silver spoon?

      Yes Sir. And Corriemoney is further away down the glen.

      2015, and that's my lot, Sir. Europe's calling. The Pyrenees, Sweden - in fact anywhere without bloody wind turbines planted on their wild land.

      Delete
  30. Hi Alan, read you comment about the proposed wind farm. You're missing out on the fact that for many of the local people this project will generate an income (they'd own one of the turbines!). Maybe you should read some of the background info before you jump on the bandwagon! Almost half of the local people expressed their support for the project in a ballot. I too love the Highlands and I'm not a fan of wind farms in the wrong place. Beinn Mhor is different for many reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous.
      On this blog (my blog, my rules) I like to see who is making comments, and as you have expressed your point of view whether or not you have a financial interest in the subject.
      Before I respond properly to your comment can you please tell me who you are and whether you have a financial interest please?

      Delete
  31. I live in Tomich. The wind farm will not be visible from the village, and from only a couple of spots in Glen Affric where it will be far in the distance. Well done for spreading untruths far and wide in order to glean objections through ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm presuming this is the same "Anonymous" that has posted immediately above.
      Why have you not given us your name and whether or not you have a financial interest?
      I expect an answer on this, straight away please.

      How dare you accuse me of lying! I doubt very much indeed if you would say that to my face.

      So - let's now deal with your highly disingenuous remark: "The wind farm will not be visible from the village, and from only a couple of spots in Glen Affric where it will be far in the distance."

      I have not stated in the piece whether or not it will be visible from either the village of from all parts of the Glen. I will not have you misrepresent my piece like that.

      Look again at the ZTV map I posted. Click on it. It blows up to a parr scale. Print it out and stick it on your kitchen wall and take a good hard look.

      Walkers from ALL the hills around Glen Affric - indeed all the way westwards to the Kintail Forest above Shiel Bridge on the west coast - will be able to see six four hundred feet tall white turbines spinning away.

      Walkers to the north will be able to see the turbines from the hills above Glen Orrin and Strathfarrar, and to the east from the Great Glen Way.

      Perhaps facing facts is not your strong point.

      I would suggest that when accusing others of spreading untruths far and wide in order to glean objections through ignorance." you first read back what the post actually says, then examine you conscience - oh - and also to look at the ZTV map (made by the developer himself) before posting silly comments that make you look, at best, incredibly foolish, or more realistically, a liar.

      Now - be a good commenter - and abide by this blog's etiquette and give me your name. And if you have a financial interest.

      If not, I will use your IP address and hunt you down and publish it myself.
      I am quite prepared to do this.

      Delete
    2. Sneaky, Anonymous!
      You didn't post from Tomich.
      So, where are you and who are you, My Precioussssssssssss???

      Delete
  32. Being a local resident of Tomich, the location mostly affected by this planned proposal, as well as a committee member of Glen Affric Friends Say No, I like to comment as follows:
    The person writing under the name Anonymous is rather cowardly, or possibly connected to the landowner or lord. GAFSN has obtained objections in the three villages, Tomich, Cannich and Struy, this to a total of about 223 persons signing up to our call against the proposal.
    The result of the ballot by the SCC (community council) was that 145 persons voted against the project and 120 for the project. However, it must be remarked that about 40 of the pro voters have or had direct and indirect links with the wind industry or with the land owners.
    At this particular moment in time we are looking to the results of comments made by people on the Highland Council web site and there we see objections in excess of 1100 out of a total of 1368 as of this morning. A large majority of these objections are not from the region, but from everywhere in Scotland, the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Thereby indicating the beauty of the Highlands is well appreciated all over and people are worried about these plans of additional wind farms.
    This all I have to say at this moment, although I do urge everybody to check out our website and possibly make comments on the web site of the planning department of the Highland Council before the 20th October 2014.
    Cheers

    Mathieu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mathieu.
      I think that makes the point very clearly.
      We are still no further in finding out who our local apologist is, though, though my IP checker is working on it as we speak. it correlates times of postings with IP addresses so we should have an answer shortly. (The reverse IP/who is checker then finds the location for me.)

      Delete
  33. Objection recorded a number of moons ago - keep up your fine work, Alan. This whole project, as with virtually all wind projects is driven by money - as evidenced by "Anonymous" in his/her comments. Money from the pockets of all electricity consumers into the pockets of developers and landowners - with a few smarties to appease the misled locals - this project is part of the scam of the century!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, George.
      By my reckoning there'll be a tad under £100,000 to share out amongst the community for various projects (the going rate for the community bribe is about £5k/installed MW, from memory) I wonder what the value of the jobs lost in the community as local businesses that rely on tourism to supplement their incomes have to lay of staff or close down, will be?
      Looking through the board members of Soirbheas is quite instructional. They pay lip service to "environmentalism" but the main focus of the company is money. Money that the fuel-poor ave to dig deep into their pockets to find. From their mini bios, none of the board members look like they are struggling to pay their electricity bills.

      Delete
  34. Objection submitted never walked there but when I do I want it as nature intended .
    Thanks for your commitment Alan

    ReplyDelete
  35. It's just about 7:45 pm on Tuesday 14th October and I'm returning straight to Alan's blog from the Highland Council site. Viewing the responses sorted on the basis of date/time added/descending, unless I've overlooked any, none of the most recent 100 comments is in support of the application.

    Let's see how the democratic process deals with that kind of response.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I spend around £1500 a year in the area as a tourist. The bribe is 18Mw *5k per annum ie 90k a year not indexed and will only continue until WPD Beinn Mhor is liquidated which will be as soon as they have extracted maximum revenues my guess 5 years.. My torsist spend if indexed would be about 5.5K per annum in year 25 averaging about 3.5K over project lifetime, ie it would take only about 30 people like me to be taken from the equation in order to make the project negative to the local economy on pure finance grounds (even if the bribe could be used to help locals freely which it can't). The scheme will be visible over vast tracts especially with the imminent tree cover removal. Check out the visualisations from the developer and the caviat on each stating they are not to scale and do not represent true visualisation, its so disingeneous as to be unbelievable. Please do post Mr Anonymous credentials and perhaps he.she might try justifying some of his/her lies....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, Glyn; then add to your figures the premium price the local Community, like the rest of us, are paying through our energy bills and the amount they are contributing in taxes towards the subsidies and it soon becomes apparent who the winners and losers are in this whole business.

      I'm all for a bit of redistribution of wealth; this isn't quite what I had in mind.

      Delete
    2. That's a neat response, Glyn. It sums up nicely the absurdity of one or two memeber of the community in the strath scrabbling after the small scale bribes on offer, when the real money is being lost to the place for twenty five years.
      Nice work, Sir.

      Delete
  37. picked up this post from Conrad Walks - used to be a regular climber and walker in Scotland, but these monsters make me so ill I could no longer bear it - a few years now: if this terrible destruction continues, I - and many others - won't return until Salmond and his cronies are buried by time or a re-awoken electorate - but the damage has and is being been done and will outlast most of our lifetimes.
    So I too have objected - my droplet to try to stem the flood.
    As you say, other countries have valued their wilder places and protected them from this false accounting - Scotland will pay dearly for this shame, as more and more desert their desecrated land.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support, gimmer.
      You say "I - and many others - won't return until Salmond and his cronies are buried by time or a re-awoken electorate... " Unfortunately the electorate in the UK doesn't seem to give a stuff about our few remaining wild places. You only have to look at where the electorate lives to see why - mostly in urban settings. The few who do love in the countryside, are, in the main, mostly against wind farms, as they can actually see how they spoil the countryside. Those living in urban environments, in the main, stay there and wholeheartedly support this "green energy" as it does not affect the view to their televisions or high streets.
      We are never going to change this, until drip, by painfully slow drip, these urbanites take a day trip out into the countryside for a picnic in the great outdoors and find that it's now one giant wind farm.

      The politicians know this, of course, and take great delight in quoting statistics that show how the general population supports their green programmes.

      Delete
  38. Done. From Holland. As a tourist/hiker, I object to these windfarms. Not sure if my objection counts, being a non-resident of Scotland. But well: every bit helps, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous.
      Yes - Every objection does help.

      Delete
  39. FACT 1 - These turbines are not located in Glen Affric so I would contend your headline might be construed as misleading. Further the map referred to has the following notes "The calculations of this map are based on the "bare earth" model of landform and do not allow for any effects of screening from obstacles such as buildings and vegetation" Also the notes state that the map is calculated for a viewers eye height of 2 metres above ground height ie for anyone one over 6 feet 7 inches this map is relevant. For the rest of the population it has no relevance.

    FACT 2 - The ballot by SCC was a secret one so Matthew Oosterwijk cannot state with any degree of knowledge who in the local community voted for or against the development. He can speculate about it and can remark about the number he believes have direct or indirect links with the wind industry or with the land owners but provides no proof.

    FACT 3 - One of the members of the local anti wind farm group had a letter published in the local paper in which he stated that anyone not opposing this development was "of an intellectually challenged mindset" and Mr Oosterwijk himself uttered the phrase "empty headed blonde" when describing someone who did not share his view on the development.

    I am a local resident, I have no links direct or indirect to the wind industry or to the local landowners and I have no financial interest in the development or am going to gain any if this development goes ahead. I did not vote in the ballot mainly because I did not believe either side and I will not be bullied into an opinion. Trying to check my IP address will not prove whether I am local or not as anyone who knows anything about computers will tell you.

    I can state I have found that the tactics and behaviour of the local anti-wind farm group display the very worst kind of NIMBYism but that is my own personal opinion. I can also state that if the same amount of energy that has been expended by both sides of the argument had been directed to actual community projects/ideas/involvement that Tomich and Cannich would be a better place to live (ignoring any possible windfarms).

    Finally I expect to be vilified on here for the above views so be it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still posting anonymously then. That's very poor behaviour and as such your comment is open to vilification.

      Lets deal with your "facts":

      1) Who gives a shit where the turbines are located? The developers' own ZTV map says it all: It will have a massive effective on Glen Affric. Your comment about the 2 meter viewing height is, quite frankly, laughable. Get someone to explain it to you. I'm not going to waste my breath on you.

      2) I think the reasonable man on the Clapham omnibus would think that Matthew has a fair point. Let's move on:

      3) I happen to agree with both the people you are attacking. Any sane person who lives in the area will know that tourism plays a major part in the local economy. Risking that sector of the economy is, frankly, stupid in the extreme.

      You say you are a local resident, so I am surprised that you wish to remain anonymous if you feel that you are part of the majority opinion. No one is 'bullying you into an opinion.' Last time I looked this was still a free country and all opinions are taken into account. The local anti wind farm groups are very likely to be strident. Unlike the wind farm developers, they have no budget, no political voice and so are doing their damndest to get this dreadful threat in the news so that people who do treasure the place where you live can join with them and fight to protect it.

      It's not "nimbyism" at all. You are fortunate to live amongst people who are fighting to preserve Scotland's wild places. You should be on your knees with gratitude.

      I find your attitude repulsive, and so I will not accept any more of your anonymous comments on this thread as you have abused the privilege. If, however, you have a change of heart and publish your name (and I will check to see that you do live there) then, and only then, will I publish a comment form you.

      Delete
  40. GREAT NEWS!

    Today, Highland Council rejected this application - UNANIMOUSLY!
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A drop of good news amongst the flood of bad. I am "up" about it, but I still fear the worst. As for Allt Duine, I have a horrible sense of foreboding. How do other people in my position keep their sanity intact? I am really struggling. Hardly anyone around me gives a damn and so-called friends are ominously silent.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jane
      :-)
      It IS lovely to get a bit of good news for a change. However, it should be tempered with a little care, as apparently WPD (the wind farm developer) has appealed to the Scottish Government as the decision by Highland Council was past the deadline set for the decision. Also, they appealed before this decision by Highland Council was made. Their reasoning for the 'out of time' appeal was because if they don't get approval quickly they will lose out on any chance on getting the ROCs at the most advantageous rate.
      No pretence at being happy to produce so called 'green energy' - just less subsidies to trough.
      I wonder if you are also aware that in the recent 'Contract for Difference' Auction, some onshore wind farms came in considerably beneath the present subsidy levels, which just proves that the subsidies are set way too high. So this again proves that WPD are just money-grubbing bastards.

      On Allt Duinne, there has been huge UK National Press awareness, pointing out that the wind farm goes against the Scottish Government's own advisers, SNH, recommendation to reject the wind farm, and pointing out that it will be Swinney and Swinney alone who is making the decision. It's great that this pressure is being applied. I cannot imagine how a politician could set himself against such high profile and very public shaming.
      But who knows! Just how low can Swinney go?

      Delete
    3. Swinney can probably go very low and I have a horrible feeling he will. I have no reason to be confident in the SNP. I gather from WEA that SSE (hope I have that right) are already consulting on the grid connection. A heads up, maybe, from the SNP? I did know about the WPD appeal and the ridiculous reason for it. It is, of course, a no brainer. Money is what they're after, to hell with the environment. Similarly, I read about the auction and the results. Of course the subsidies are too high and noses in troughs are what it's about. It's like being back in the classroom, knowing the answer to the question and desperate to broadcast it, but held back by the teacher who insists on asking every numpty in the room - and they've not been paying attention, of course - and then, when the answer isn't forthcoming from the sleeping majority, supplies it him/herself with an air of triumphant "I told you so". Not quite sure how the SNP will ever pull that "I told you so" line, but I'm sure they're working on it. I bought myself Colin Prior's collectors' edition of Scotland's Finest Landscapes but, having started to look at the images, I found myself feeling miserable at the prospect of all that grandeur and spirit being tarnished. I can't bring myself to open the book now. Also in possession of Robert Macfarlane's various books and can't bring myself to read those, either. In fact, I don't know if I can even bring myself to get out on a hill. It has become a race to get round places of wonder before they are spoiled for ever and that is overwhelmingly stressful.

      Delete
    4. I understand how you feel, Jane.
      Last year I walked the length of Stronelairg before the turbines get there.
      This year I'm walking the lip of the Balmacaan Forest, before Bhlaraidh gets built.

      I won't be back to these areas.

      I think the SNP Government is beneath contempt.

      Delete
    5. Well, I heaved myself out of bed at 6 and headed up to Black Mount, climbed Stob Ghabhar - lots of front pointing, my crampons were in heaven - and the 360 degree panorama from the summit was utterly stupendous. SNP goons, get yourselves there even if it's by helicopter and SEE, for once, what you are threatening with destruction.Is it too much to ask? Wept on the summit, as usual, and thanked the hills just for being there. If its the last view I ever look on it will be a fine ending.

      Delete
    6. It's the best medicine, Jane.
      Shame you can't bottle it!
      :-)

      Delete
    7. I'm working on that one, it may be the only route to sanity.

      Delete
  41. Replies
    1. Indeed, David!
      :-)
      But see my comment immediately above yours to temper our joy!

      Delete
  42. Replies
    1. Thank you
      We've still a way to go yet, Beryl; see my reply to Jane, a couple of comments further up the thread.

      Delete

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