Wind farms pose risk to tourism, say conservationists

Kevinlelland quinag1 10x8 webcrop

Quinag, Sutherland. Copyright Kevin Lelland

John Muir Trust survey reveals attitudes to development on wild land.  

17th July 2017 by Gavin Stuart 1 Comment

Industrial development makes holidaymakers less likely to visit Scotland’s wild places, according to research for a conservation charity.

A survey for the John Muir Trust found 55% of Scots were put off from visiting scenic areas if they contained large-scale infrastructure such as wind farms, electricity pylons and super quarries.

Just three per cent said they would be more likely to visit areas with industrial developments, while slightly over a quarter of those quizzed said development made no difference to them.

The figures were released as part of the trust’s Keep It Wild campaign, which calls on the Scottish Government to use the forthcoming planning bill to give wild land areas protection from damaging industrial-scale development.

Policymakers have to pay attention, before it’s too late

An earlier survey suggested 80% of Scots would back this move, which would give wild land areas the same protections enjoyed by National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

Andrew Bachell, the trust’s chief executive, said: “As schools across England break up to the summer holidays this week and many families flock to Scotland for breaks, we must stop and ask what they value about their stay. For many, it’s the ability to enjoy being outdoors in Scotland’s unique, unspoilt natural landscapes.  

“Visitor expenditure in Scotland’s National Parks alone is worth £187 million a year, with further revenues brought in by tourism businesses in scenic areas from Shetland to the Borders.

“So when a clear majority of people say they’d be put off visiting scenic sites like wild land areas by the existence of large-scale wind farms, giant pylons, super quarries and other inappropriate commercial developments, policymakers have to pay attention, before it’s too late.”

Tom Campbell, managing director of the North Coast 500 route, is backing the campaign.

He said: “The North Coast 500 has become one of the world’s top touring routes in the last two years based on a wild land and seascape that has existed forever and we are now exposing the world to this amazing place that is the North Highlands.   

“We need to be aware of the balance between necessary development to underpin the economy and the fragility of the tourism economy which is based on choices people make to visit beautiful places and in our case, some of the most beautiful and wild in the world.” 

19th July 2017 by Alfred Dolan

People arguing against wind power seem to think because wind farms aren't approved in all areas this is a valid argument against wind power. In 2015 Denmark produced 42% of its electricity from wind and is building even more wind turbines, but there are areas in Denmark that they have decided not to allow wind turbines because they are too close to homes or for environmental reasons. Just like any type of construction, including fossil fuel and nuclear plants, and your local gas station and 7-11, they are not approved everywhere. Read the statistics at here.