A rare bird will have almost no chance of being struck by the moving blades of proposed wind turbines, according to an expert.
The issue of bird collisions with turbines was raised on day 19 of the Humberhead Levels Windfarm inquiry.Stewart Lowther, of Hyder Consulting, was cross-examined about the risk to the birds.
In July 2005, English Nature raised concerns there may be a significant effect from the two proposed windfarms in Thorne and Keadby Grange on the nightjar population.
Nightjars use the shrubland habitat on Thorne Moor for breeding, and the birds migrate through some sections of the Keadby site.
They are medium-sized, nocturnal birds which usually nest on the ground and feed predominantly on moths and other large flying insects.
Information from a study by Renewable Energy Systems (RES), in response to the concerns, was presented to the inquiry. It detailed the fact nightjars had never flown higher than 25 metres.
Mr Lowther said: “It is extremely unlikely any nightjar would ever be at the height at which it could collide with a moving blade.”
And when asked whether he believed the bird would be at a greater disadvantage due to the fact they were nocturnal, Mr Lowther said: “The turbines, if not painted pure white, would be a shade of white. It would be safe to assume they would be capable of seeing the blades and taking evasive action.”
He added the frequency of the noise made by the turbine blades would not impact on mating calls.
The inquiry into 22 proposed wind turbines at Thorne and 34 between Keadby and Crowle continues today at The Vikings Hotel, Western Road, Goole.
The inquiry starts at 10am and evidence relating to the impact of the proposed turbines on Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport is due to be heard.
9 February 2007
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