Wednesday, 25th August 2010
Victory for Dava
The news that Highland Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to reject plans for two windfarms on the beautiful landscape surrounding Dava Moor and Tomatin must be welcomed by all right-thinking people. The local campaigners who have mounted a vigorous campaign of opposition to these destructive proposals deserve our congratulations too.
The two projects at Tom nan Clach and Glenkirk, were part of a bigger scheme that would ultimately have led to 5 giant windfarms on this remote Northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park. The erection of massive wind turbines on this stunning Scottish wilderness would amount to an act of gross landscape vandalism.
To allow the wanton destruction of our countryside in this way for the limited benefit of wind power and the enrichment of a handful of electricity companies and landowners is quite unacceptable.
That is why the Highland councillors who voted to reject this appalling scheme must be applauded for their bravery. They have courageously defended Scotland’s unique landscape heritage against those who would destroy it with giant steel towers, pylons, access roads, borrow-pits and concrete, in the name of the new and false ‘religion’ of renewable energy.
Dava Moor is one of the great wilderness areas of Scotland, written about lyrically by famous authors such as Maurice Walsh. It is part of our rich landscape and cultural heritage, with Lochindorb Castle, a rare island fortress dating back to the 13th century, perched on an island in the middle of the loch. Lochindorb Castle was visited by Edward I in 1303, when he stayed there for 9 days, hunting out on the moor. It was later home to the infamous Wolf of Badenoch, the so-called ‘Celtic Attilla’.
The cumulative impact of these five wind farms on this designated area of great landscape value would have been appalling. Most of the area is covered by deep blanket bog with peat up to 4 metres deep, much of which is over 2000 years old. The wind farms would have required massive excavation of this ultra-sensitive area, with consequent disturbance to the fragile ecosystem and hydrology, leading to potentially disastrous impacts on the lower regions of the Findhorn river, themselves listed special areas of conservation (SAC’s).
Dava Moor has for millennia been a wildlife linkage corridor from the Spey to the Findhorn with capercaillies, golden eagles, ospreys, buzzards, red throated divers, lapwings, skylarks and ravens all present amongst a diverse and thrilling abundance of species. All would be put at risk by these proposed windfarm developments.
So, well done Highland Council and let us hope that your unanimous opposition to this attempted vandalism will send a strong signal to the Scottish Government that they should stop the rape of our countryside with useless windmills which are vastly expensive, operate for only 27% of their working life and cause great stress and anxiety to people who have to live near them. Scottish Ministers must now follow Highland Council’s lead and reject all outstanding applications for windfarm developments on Dava Moor.