Two hundred people from different parts of Cumbria came together to demonstrate against the influx of wind turbines on local landscapes at the weekend.
The rally took place just outside Longtown, near the site of the proposed nine-turbine Solway Moss windfarm.
There are also plans for another six-turbine development at Hallburn Farm, to the east of the town, and both have enraged many locals.
However Saturday’s protest brought campaigners from other windfarm-hit communities in Cumbria, and from over the Border, to the table to share information and advice.
Some have successfully fought off turbines in their area, while others are battling against them.
The rally was led by Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart, who is campaigning for the area to become a windfarm-free zone.
He said that by working together, Cumbrian communities could take on the big wind companies – and win.
Speaking at the protest, Mr Stewart said that, after agreeing to house new nuclear power stations, Cumbria should be exempt from wind developments, which will hit the county’s main source of income.
“Economic growth in this constituency is difficult and upland farming has a very difficult time. The number one income earner is tourism. People say you can’t pay the bills with the landscape, yet we are actually paying most of bills with exactly that. Our landscape is a very, very precious commodity. People come here for just that.”
And Mr Stewart strongly rejected any suggestions that windfarm campaigners have a nimby (not in my back yard) mentality. “Some of these people have driven 60 miles on a Saturday morning to be here to support people.
“If all they were worried about was their own back yard they wouldn’t bother.”
Communities represented at the demonstration included Longtown, Rosley, Cumwhinton, Great Broughton, Berrier Hill and Bewcastle.
Solway Moss campaigner Dorothy Sidwell urged people to work together to defend the historic local countryside against destruction.
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