Fears have been expressed that Scotland could lose out on a tourism bonanza because of the spread of wind turbines.
Reflecting some of Perthshire’s most stunning countryside, the Disney Pixar animation “Brave” is being used as part of a major marketing bid to sell Scotland to the world – but there are already concerns that the very landscape featured could be lost to encroaching wind turbines.
The Perthshire-based Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) wants to see a moratorium on further development in key mountain areas, particularly around the Munros and Corbetts, which are amongst Scotland’s greatest visitor attractions.
It believes irreversible damage could be done to the natural environment if the spread of turbines is allowed to continue and it has called on Scotland’s tourism industry to play a major role in preserving the country’s iconic mountain areas.
Highland Perthshire resident and teacher John Crystal, meanwhile, contacted The Courier to call upon Perth and Kinross Council to resist the spread of wind farms.
He said the Aberfeldy area’s “visual beauty and attractiveness for tourism” was being seriously threatened.
“I love Scotland and its famous panoramic views and I am interested in trying to raise awareness of their value to tourism and local economies before it is too late.
“As has been seen in recent photos of Stirling Castle – destroyed by lines of wind turbines in the Doune Hills in the background – some of the best views of the country can be blighted.”
Mr Crystal said he feared a proposal to create a two-turbine development near Aberfeldy could prove a watershed case if given the go-ahead.
“I’m very worried that this proposal will set a benchmark for more applications by small farms all the way along the upper Tay valley on both the north and south sides.
“If this happens, the visual aspect of the area, and potentially any remarkable scenic area in the Scottish countryside, will be significantly depleted.
“Some of the most striking views in the central Highlands will be far from picturesque and future generations will have to work hard to find a natural view, free from construction, to photograph.”
His views echo those of David Gibson, MCofS chief officer, who said: “The Scottish Government is billing 2013 as the Year of Natural Scotland, while at the same time allowing our wild, open and beautiful mountain landscapes to be industrialised with huge numbers of wind turbines and associated bulldozed tracks.
“This is completely at odds with the promotional stance of VisitScotland, which proudly declares on the travel trade section of its website that ‘your clients can escape into the unspoilt wilderness … taking in our majestic but accessible mountains’.
“Much of Scotland’s reputation as a fantastic place to visit is thanks to its remaining areas of dramatic scenery.
“Measures to protect the mountains must be put in place now if we are to continue to attract not just those who enjoy outdoor activities, but all those in search of natural beauty and tranquility.”
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