I was interested in two letters which appeared in your paper entitled “Wildlife lovers should object to turbines” (January 23) and a response by the RSPB entitled “RSPB’s concerns” (February 6).
I too am not at all happy with the RSPB.
I have just received a letter from them relating to the Batsworthy Cross wind turbine proposal and a copy of the letter, as consultee, they sent to North Devon District Council.
The site in question appears to fit the criteria which the RSPB rules indicate is not appropriate for wind turbines. It is a wild unspoilt site with an abundance of wildlife including birds such as starlings, skylarks, linnets and marsh tits, all Red Listed, not to mention snipe and golden plover. The area is surrounded by protected sites and is an important feeding and nesting ground. It is also a migration route for many birds.
Many of the birds follow the same migration route year after year and will inevitably get killed by these bird and bat macerating machines.
Yet in spite of this the RSPB did not object outright.
They say that “should planning permission go ahead they recommend a monitoring package over three consecutive winters is required to ascertain post – construction impacts on birds, notably golden plover and snipe.
And so they wish to have put in place measures to see how many birds are killed/affected after these bird killing machines are put up, the blade tips of which spin at approximately 200mph based on npower’s figures. Birds migrate on an irregular and unpredictable manner over this site – so daily and nightly monitoring would be necessary since most bird deaths are scavenged by predators before dawn.
Who will monitor this? The power companies are not going to employ anyone to do this effectively since it is not in their interests to do so.
It seems to me that the RSPB seem to be setting up a smokescreen so that they can be seen to be doing something.
They then go on to say why this exercise would be useful for “predictions of impacts of future applications in similar situations”.
And so it seems they would like to use this site as a research centre to see how many birds would be killed/affected if these turbines go up rather than err on the side of caution and object to the proposal.
Great! So much for a bird society which is meant to protect birds.
Birds tend to disappear from sites where turbines are constructed (disturbance, displacement and destruction). Many animals are affected by the low frequency notice these machines emit, and disappear.
I would rather spend my money buying bird food than help support and condone a society which is too involved with a wind industry which kills birds by the millions.
Anita D Allen
BSc Hons Cert Ed (Biological Sciences) South Molton
20 March 2007
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