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Will wind power mess with our fishy friends?  

The salmon’s historic importance is documented in the Magna Carta, which in 1216 established fishing regulations and measures to protect salmon streams.Salmon recovery effects began as early as 1712 in England, but as an industrial age grew in the 18th century, with the construction of dams and mills which led to pollution from growing urban centres, the salmon were sent into decline.

To this day man has persecuted the salmon, and the results of his greed, overfishing and pollution are all too clear.

But there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the Atlantic Salmon Trust is fighting to save the Atlantic salmon stocks, which are now at their lowest levels in recorded history.

One of the most important areas of protection has to be the rivers and streams the salmon and sea trout return to spawn in. After spawning the eggs hatch and the upper reaches of these rivers and streams offer food and protection to the salmon and sea trout as they grow before returning to the sea.

This is why it is so important not to upset the delicate balance of these streams in the area surrounding the proposed Fullabrook wind power station development.

The sources that feed the two rivers that run through Braunton, the River Caen and Knowle Water mainly originate from this area.

The bedrock or base area covering the proposed Fullabrook wind turbine power station consists mainly of shale-slate-siltstone and fine-grained sandstone beds. This seems to be quite a loose formation on which to sit these turbines. As with some other wind power stations that are already installed in this country, and in Germany and Denmark, alterations to water courses has occurred.

Of the proposed 22 turbines, turbine No 1 is approximately 125m from one of the sources of the River Caen, turbine No 2 being approximately 220m from the same source. Turbine No 9 is 300m from another source of the River Caen, which eventually flows through the centre of Braunton.

Turbine No 5 (at 130m) turbine No 7 (at 180m) and turbine No 8 (at 125m) are almost running parallel to one of the sources of Knowle Water which flows through Wrafton.

Turbines 19, 20, 21 and 22 would almost run parallel with one of the sources of Bradiford Water.

The site is also sloping and therefore turbine excavations would be inclined.

Bearing in mind that Braunton and Bradiford have both suffered from flooding, it would seem foolhardy to place a power station in an area that could put Braunton and Bradiford at risk.

If the alteration to watercourses occurs, spawning gravels could disappear. Thousands of years of the salmon’s life cycle could be wiped out. We must ask ourselves, is it worth it for a very ineffective form of energy production?





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The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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