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Mountaineering Council of Scotland warns against spread of wind farms

Wind farm proposals in Scotland’s wilderness should be a key election issue, according to the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

The Perth group has urged parties in the Holyrood election to commit to Scotland’s wild landscapes by opposing wind farm proposals in the “dwindling” areas of wildness.

It says the proposed Allt Duine wind farm, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, is “a prime example of a renewable energy project that will cause irrevocable damage to a cherished wild landscape” and ruin views in the Monadhliath mountains.

If it is allowed to go ahead the scheme will consist of 31 turbines, each over 125m and visible from many mountains in a 35km radius. It will be 400m from the boundary of the national park, with access tracks starting inside the park.

If all the proposed wind farms are developed there will be 11 separate farms visible from Cairn Gorm.

Council president Chris Townsend said, “Scotland’s mountains are a precious wild land resource that, once lost, is gone forever.”

Conservation body the John Muir Trust recently issued a report claiming that wind farms’ output is often no more than 10%, rather than the 30% stated by the industry.

It said a consultant’s report showed the whole network was sometimes creating only enough energy to boil a few thousand kettles.