There are significant NEGATIVE impacts of windfarms on the environment – OFTEN OVERLOOKED because the understanding is “….windfarms produce green energy…. therefore they must be good”.
Let’s take a look at the proposed windfarm effects on the environment.
A. CO2 RELEASE PROBLEMS
– The proposed windfarm will be constructed on ‘bog’ peatland
– The massive road network; concrete platforms; and cable trenching will disrupt water movement, result in the degradation of the peatland, and result in the release of CO2
– Peat only retains carbon if it is wet; the roads, tracks and concrete platforms, will all disrupt and block water passage
– SNH says that 67% of planned onshore windfarm developments are expected to be built on peatland. Windfarm development continues on these fragile areas – millions upon millions of tonnes of CO2 will actually be released, negating completely the benefit of the windfarm itself.
B. TOURISM AND RECREATION PROBLEMS
– Well… so much for the ‘great outdoors’! This part of Cowal is known for its generally unspoilt beauty – attracting hill-walkers, tourists, and nature lovers of all types.
– Short term jobs or minimal longer term jobs are simply not a price worth paying for destroying your health and environment.
– Ramblers Scotland – an organisation that counts amongst its members those who promote the great outdoors are against the construction of on-shore windfarms as they blight ever increasing areas of beautiful countryside and mountain areas.
– The disfigurement of our landscapes is disastrous for not only those living in these areas but also for those seeking to benefit from our wonderful and natural Cowal landscapes.
– The Mountaineering Council of Scotland Association, Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland; the Munro Society, Natural Trust for Scotland, and Scottish Wild Land Group have all raised reservations on windfarm projects as they witness the ongoing encroachment on our wild lands and how such projects affect our tourism and recreation.
C. NOISE PROBLEMS
– This perhaps is the most overlooked area of windfarms – notwithstanding the audible noise one may experience from windfarms, the far more serious threat to our health is the LOW FREQUENCY NOISE (see our discussion on “HEALTH”).
D. LANDSCAPE AND VISUAL IMPACT PROBLEMS
– As indicated previously, the turbines to be constructed are MONSTER turbines with a height of over 400 feet. They will be visible for miles around AND if you are a hillwalker, you will not be able to observe, when standing on surrounding hills, any part of our landscape without noticing these wind turbines.
– They therefore will have a long term and deleterious effect on this wild landscape no matter how one may try to justify their existence. They will be viewed from the B836 as it passes over the high ground between Achnabreck and Loch Strivenhead. This route forms part of Cycle Route 75.
E. FLORA AND FAUNA PROBLEMS
What effect will the development have on the ecology?
Flora – obviously any flora such as mire, blanket mire, rush – pasture, wet heath, and heath are largely ground water dependent (ie “bog”) which will be destroyed and completely disrupted by the proposed road networks, concrete foundations and cable trenching. The disruption of the water flows is of critical importance to this flora, and is key as cover for bog wetlands.
Fauna – recent studies suggest that both Otters and Voles frequent the water course areas adjacent to the site. Pine Martens, a protected species, have also been seen in the area.
Birds – A site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for birds exists within (6 miles) – well within the low frequency sound range.
Hen harrer, peregrine, short eared owl and merlin are considered likely to frequent the area. We are also aware of one and potentially two pairs of eagles that nest within two kilometres of the proposed site. The very rare black grouse have also been observed at 1.5 kilometers or under one mile, from the proposed development.