The widow of broadcaster and hillwalker Tom Weir yesterday handed Alex Salmond a petition calling on him to end the destruction of Scotland’s countryside by wind farms.
Rhona Weir met the First Minister at his official Edinburgh residence, where she urged him to stop the ‘act of vandalism’.
The meeting came as conservationists issued a stark warning that Scotland’s wild land is being wiped out by the march of wind turbines.
The John Muir Trust has called on the Scottish Government to halt the destruction immediately. Its figures claim 41 per cent of Scotland was ‘unaffected visually by built development’ in 2002, but by 2009 this had plummeted to 28 per cent.
Mrs Weir, 94, had wanted to present the First Minister with the 4,500signature petition at the SNP’s recent spring conference in Inverness.
The request from Mrs Weir, whose late husband presented cult STV show Weir’s Way, was initially turned down by Mr Salmond’s office. The petition calls on the First Minister to ‘stop the reckless siting of wind turbines in Scotland’s scenic landscapes’.
Mrs Weir, whose husband died aged 91 in 2006, said yesterday: ‘We in Scotland have inherited an irreplaceable legacy – a unique, varied and very beautiful environment that is free for all to appreciate and enjoy. Any unnecessary development which will have a detrimental effect on this heritage should be considered an act of vandalism.
‘I know my late husband would have been appalled at the present proliferation of wind turbines defacing the land he loved.
‘Wind turbines are already having an impact on tourism, as indicated by the 40 per cent of those questioned in a recent survey who said they would not return if the landscape continued to be industrialised by wind turbines.
‘This attitude is endorsed by many of the 4,500 people, many from overseas, who have signed the petition.’
Mr Salmond said: ‘I was delighted to meet Rhona Weir at Bute House to accept her petition.
‘While around a fifth of Scotland already enjoys strong protection from development, there is a legitimate debate about where the most appropriate sites for renewable energy are.
‘We believe wind energy, suitably located, can make a huge contribution to meeting Scotland’s future energy needs.’
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