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Real benefits or just PR?  

Introducing a few mountain hares near Beinn an Tuirc wind farm, at a cost of £30 each, is certainly a cost-effective way of getting good publicity for ScottishPower (your report, 24 March), but the question is will it do anything for the resident pair of golden eagles?

In visual terms, Beinn an Tuirc is a very well-located wind farm. However, it is perilously close to a golden eagle nest site and, despite ScottishPower’s best efforts, and commendably it has spent over £2 million on the initial “habitat management” clearing forest and introducing black grouse, the resident eagles have never successfully reared a chick since the wind farm was erected six years ago. There is no direct evidence of eagle fatalities at Beinn an Tuirc, but at least nine white-tailed eagles have been killed by wind turbines on the Norwegian island of Smola.

Put simply, a well-located wind farm poses little danger to rare birds, but I have seen no evidence to suggest mitigation is effective, except of course in generating good PR.

ALAN STOBIE, Achavit, Tarbert, Argyll


25 March 2008

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