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Rare birds could block windfarm plan  

Credit:  Fleetwood Weekly News, www.fleetwoodtoday.co.uk 21 January 2005 ~~

A wildlife charity is protesting at plans to site a wind farm off the Wyre coast – claiming rare ducks will be adversely affected if it’s built.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is urging residents to write to the Prime Minister to protest against the wind farm sheme earmarked for Shell Flat, 7km off the Cleveleys shoreline.

The charity says the 90-turbine wind farm, capable of producing enough energy to power the Fylde coast, will scare the common scoter, a rare duck which nests at Shell Flat every winter.

More than 400 boat trips would be necessary to carry crews out to service and maintain the 160-metre tall turbines.

Thousands of scoters, officially an endangered species, could be terrified into taking flight during the winter and will die from exhaustion, warns the RSPB.

The RSPB’s new Safeguard Our Sea Life campaign highlights the dangers to the common scoter, saying the ducks panic easily and will be driven away from Shell Flat by the turbines.

The latest objection to the wind farm follows objections from English Nature, Fleetwood fishermen, Wyre Council, the Ministry of Defence and botanist Sir David Bellamy.

Malcolm Garrity of Scottish Power, one of the three power company backers, responded: “Economics will eventually dictate the cut off point if we can’t mitigate against all the objections.”

The RSPB has now joined forces with other wildlife organisations to call for comprehensive legislation to safeguard marine species and habitats.

As part of the campaign, locals are being urged to sign a postcard or petition the Prime Minister Tony Blair for improved legislation. These postcards are available from the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre at Fairhaven Lake.

The RSPB has also organised Big Sea Watch events next month to raise awareness of the wealth of bird life off the local coastline and in estuaries. There will be high tide birdwatches at Granny’s Bay, Fairhaven, between 11am and noon on February 12 and from 11.30am to 1pm on February 13.

Source:  Fleetwood Weekly News, www.fleetwoodtoday.co.uk 21 January 2005

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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