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Anti-windfarms website launched in Cumbria

A new website to help communities across Cumbria fight off windfarm proposals in their area is being launched.

Cumbria Windwatch will enable different campaign groups in the county to share expertise and experiences.

It is being launched following a protest rally near Longtown on Saturday, which saw about 200 campaigners from across Cumbria gather near the site of the proposed Solway Moss wind turbines.

The event was organised by MP Rory Stewart, who wants to declare his Penrith and the Border constituency a windfarm-free zone.

But instead of everyone fighting individual battles, he called on communities to unite against the big energy companies, insisting that if they work together they can win.

During the rally, representatives from communities who have successfully fought off turbines or who are in the midst of a battle came forward to speak. They then attended a joint brainstorming meeting at Longtown Memorial Hall.

Mr Stewart urged everyone to use the new website – cumbriawindwatch.co.uk – to stay in touch when it goes live within the next few weeks.

He said that Cumbria’s landscapes must be protected to safeguard its future as a tourist destination.

“People say you can’t pay the bills with the landscape, yet we are actually paying most of our bills with exactly that. Our landscape is a very, very valuable commodity,” he said.

When asked about the Government’s renewable energy strategy, Mr Stewart said it made sense to try and cut carbon emissions but added that even with 10 per cent of the whole UK landmass covered with wind turbines, it still wouldn’t meet the nation’s energy needs. He argued that the focus should be on other types of power, including nuclear and gas.

“If people feel this strongly, you should listen to them,” Mr Stewart added.