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Protesters fight ‘turbine atrocity’

Around 250 campaigners staged a windfarm protest last week, in a bid to stop wind turbines being placed high up in the Cambrian Mountains.

The Nant-y-moch protest opposed plans for 64 turbines reaching 140 metres (459 feet), to be placed at the highest peak of the range, which stretches from Machynlleth east to Llangurig and Rhayader, down to Llanwrtyd Wells before passing near Tregaron and Devil’s Bridge, on the road to Aberystwyth.

The Cambrian Mountains Society have said more than 250 people took part and described the turbines as having the potential to destroy a unique area.

The demo, held near Aberystwyth, was led by travel writer Jim Perrin.

“Nowhere better epitomises resistant Welsh nationhood than the wild landscape of Hyddgen, north of Pumlumon Fawr,” he said. “It was here that Owain Glyndwr, hugely outnumbered, won the first battle of his great uprising.

“May the spirit of this place impart its strength to us, and may we, in our turn, help preserve it undiminished by threatened environmental atrocity.”

The Cambrian Mountains Society said Mr Perrin led more than 250 protesters to Nant-y-moch reservoir, near the village of Ponterwyd on Sunday afternoon.

The society argues the turbines will destroy ‘this spectacular and unique area of Wales’, and wants it recognised as an arrea of outstanding natural beauty.

They have also said the development will be much larger than any yet built in the UK.

“The turbine tower sections, blades and generators would be imported via Swansea and brought in ‘abnormal load’ convoys via Cardigan and Penparcau, using a new entrance at the Bwlch Nant-yr-arian Forest Visitor Centre,” the group have warned on their website.

“The huge site, in both Ceredigion and Powys, extends to nine by five miles square, straddling the scenic route from Ponterwyd to Talybont and overlooking Hyddgen, the site of Owain Glyndwr’s famous victory over English soldiers and Flemish mercenaries in 1401.”

However, Scottish and Southern Energy have said Nant-y-moch was in an area identified for large-scale wind farm development.

A spokesperson said: The proposed Nant-y-moch windfarm is located in an area identified by the Welsh Assembly Government as suitable for large-scale windfarm development.

“The views of local communities are extremely important to us, and we have carried out a period of thorough consultation, including public exhibitions, drop-in sessions, newsletters and website updates to ensure all members of the community have been reached.”

According to the Cambrian Mountains Society website, a full consultation report by Scottish and Southern Energy is due to be published this spring. The group have an online petition at www.gopetition.co.uk/petition/33775.html.