This morning I joined with about 100 friends and strangers to walk up near the top of one of the local “tumps” in protest of a proposal to build 3 wind turbines on that land.
Though the turbine company wants us to believe that these nearly 400 foot high turbines would merely be visible for 3 miles (never mind all of us who would see them every day) they would in fact end up providing precious little energy to anyone, let alone those who have to see them when they look out their windows.
They would provide a sizeable lump of cash to the farmer on whose land they sit but any advantage to others is dubious at best (and it doesn’t matter which farmer we’re talking about here; if these turbines are approved dozens of other applications will soon be made and the hills will be obliterated by these things – look at the ridges around Llanbadarn Fynydd to see the proof in what I say).
There is no way that they would be visible for a “mere” 3 miles as we’ve been told….the thin mast on the top of the nearby Radnor Forest can be seen for at least 20 miles and it is only half the height and nowhere near the size of the proposed turbines!
These turbines haven’t lowered anyone’s electric bills. They haven’t helped migratory birds and contrary to the propaganda freely handed out by the wind company (which seems to amount to a lot of hot air) they certainly do not improve the sense of peace and serenity of one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I’ve ever seen.
While it looked at times like it would rain we were fortunate enough to have reasonably good weather and we got there early so we viewed various groups of people, dogs and trekking ponies making their way up to this high point to gather in protest against these wind turbines.
A representative of the company was there with his Nikon, and I with mine. Many people took the time to create some very clever banners and signs (the ponies did NOT like them) and we spent a pleasant hour or two up on that hill chatting about this and that and getting together for these group photographs before making our way down to our Sunday dinners.
We were waiting for the delegation from the pony trekking group that regularly ride these Radnor hills to appear…they did, and predictably these steady steeds were spooked not only by the sheepdogs and the people talking but also by the big posters being waved around. As one of the women on horseback asked me…can you imagine how they would react to turbines with 100 foot blades making loud noises and whirring in the air? Not good.
Unlike most American protests I’ve seen there were no police or militia, no shouting, no fists waving, just a group of folks in wellies and raincoats, flat caps and scarves, tugging sheepdogs and spaniels and assorted dogs, out to voice their disapproval of what can only amount to a blot on the face of a gorgeous landscape.
Let them build these things out at sea – or somewhere around Merthyr Tydfil, not here in our lovely Radnorshire hills. There are some areas of natural beauty that must be preserved for our children and the generations that follow.
These areas are quickly being swept away by clever businessmen out to make a buck. Let’s not let these beautiful Radnorshire hills fall prey to such vultures.
25 November 2007
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