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Glen under siege from new march of turbines

It is one of the jewels of the Highlands, a picturesque spot which has drawn visitors from across the world.

But it appears not even Glen Affric is safe from the proliferation of wind farms across Scotland after plans for 400ft-tall turbines were unveiled.

The nature reserve is a walkers’ and ornithologists’ paradise, famous for its red deer, golden eagles and pine martens, but it could soon be blighted by seven giant wind turbines, courtesy of the German developer wpd.

The latest proposal follows applications to surround Loch Lomond with windmills, and for turbines as tall as the London Eye on the banks of Loch Ness.

Last night, campaigners said it showed nowhere was protected from the march of wind energy.

Highland wind farm opponent Lynsey Ward said: ‘Everybody knows Glen Affric – it draws in tourists and it is a beautiful area filled with wildlife.

‘It is horrifying that a wind farm is even being considered there. This latest proposal crosses a line. If it is approved, then where in Scotland is safe from the turbines?’

The wind farm proposal, not yet submitted for planning approval, stands nine miles north-west of Glen Affric, which is a protected area with ten breeding territories for rare golden eagles.

The developer’s own report admits the risks include ‘the killing, injury or temporary disturbance of nationally and internationally protected species of wildlife’ as well as loss of habitat and ‘mortality due to collision with wind turbine blades’.

But the site was chosen because of its high winds and proximity to the Beauly-Denny overhead power line, set up to connect turbines to the National Grid.

Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson said: ‘You might as well wave goodbye to tourism. Alex Salmond’s dream of turning Scotland into the Saudi Arabia of renewables is trampling Glen Affric underfoot.’