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Fears wind turbines will deter tourists  

Credit:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | Saturday 30 March 2013 | www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk ~~

Lilliesleaf tourism operator Jane Cameron is supporting calls to save our landscape amidst fears too many wind turbines will affect tourism.

Jane of Dimpleknowe holiday cottage and golf course has rented out two self catering cottages since 1975, with customers returning year after year.

“It’s in our interests to keep the beautiful unspoilt landscape and protect the rural economy,” she said.

Borders Network, a group opposing the ‘inappropriate’ siting of turbines, which Jane supports, this week claimed increasing numbers of the tall structures could threaten jobs in the tourism sector.

It says studies show visitors are likely to shun 
areas with higher than average numbers of wind farms.

Jane put an anti-wind farm petition in her cottages in July last year. She said: “At least 40 guests have signed it. My holiday people said the area is such a peaceful place. And it’s just going to be saturated (with turbines).

“If people know the Borders is being spoilt they will go somewhere else. We have got to look after what we’ve got.”

Jane explained: “I am in favour of seeing some renewables in our energy mix, but that doesn’t mean we have to flood the landscape with massive wind turbines that deter visitors. The industrialisation of our countryside will inevitably be at the expense of sustainable jobs in tourism.”

Her cottages are in the Ale Valley where currently there is one visible turbine. But nearby, a survey by Ruberslaw Wildwoods Camping near Denholm, supports Jane’s findings. The campground questioned 45 Teviot Valley tourism businesses and found nearly two thirds of the 29 respondents referred to the intrusive nature of wind turbines on the landscape.

Borders Network’s Mark Rowley said: “Borders wind farms already produce nine times as much electricity as is needed by our homes. We have done our bit for climate change. Now we need to conserve and enhance what’s left of our biggest asset, our landscape.

“We need to ensure that our visitor spend – most of which stays in the Borders economy, unlike wind farm profits – continues to grow and create business and employment opportunities.”

A council spokesman said: “The economic impact of wind energy developments has been the subject of recent work commissioned by SBC. The conclusions will be published shortly.”

Source:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | Saturday 30 March 2013 | www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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