Scotland’s highest mountains must be protected from encroachment by windfarms, the representative body for climbers and hillwalkers said.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland today launched its manifesto on onshore windfarms.
The council, which has 11,000 members, said the nation’s wild landscapes are at risk from climate change, but are also at risk of being industrialised by the construction of wind turbines.
The council called for an immediate moratorium on commercial windfarms that encroach on munros and corbetts – peaks over 3,000ft (914m) and 2,500ft (762m) respectively.
It said it believes Scotland can achieve its aims for renewable energy without industrialising the nation’s most important mountains.
The MCofS said: “These are among our finest mountain landscapes and are vital to our cultural and historical identity.
“They form a clearly identifiable group and are among the last parts of the UK free from obvious, or extensive, human presence.”
The council said its manifesto reflects the determination of the MCofS to defend what it calls this precious resource and examines some of the issues and proposes practical action to balance the need for clean energy with the need to conserve natural heritage.
Ron Payne, the MCofS director of landscape and access, said: “The mountains and wild places of Scotland are a national asset beyond price, yet they risk being irrevocably damaged by commercial wind farm developments.
“As the recognised representative body for Scottish mountaineers and hillwalkers we believe our uplands and wild places are at risk from climate change.
“They are also in danger from our response to climate change – industrial-scale windfarms in landscapes which should remain wild. The threat is not just from individual schemes, but from their cumulative impact.
“With ever more schemes in the pipeline we need urgent action.”
The manifesto can be seen in full on the MCofS website.
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