I am lucky enough to be chairperson of Lichfield Riding for the Disabled Association, we ride at Coton House Farm Stables in Whittington near Lichfield.
In November 2012 we were really struggling with finances and feared that we would have to close. Lichfield Mercury were kind enough to support us and published an article, asking for finanical support. I am delighted to report that local people responded amazingly and we are now in a much more comfortable financial situation – so a very big thank you to each and every person that contributed to us.
Now we face an even bigger challenge, and really need as much publicity and support that we can get.
The future of our riding group is at risk, and this time from a proposal for a wind turbine. This is due to be sited close to the stables that we ride from, if it goes ahead it means the end of our Group, which is something I just cannot face. Riding for the Disabled gives the opportunity to those who have learning or physical disabilities, or both, to participate in an activity giving them a challenge, opportunity to interact with other riders, to form friendships with the volunteers, to learn new skills, to get physical exercise and to have fun. All of our riders love their sessions and really look forward to them, it is often the highlight of their week. Parents and carers love watching and seeing how the faces of their riders light up with joy, it is truly heartwarming.
If the proposal goes ahead, we cannot continue to ride. The noise and shadows that a wind turbine generates creates an unacceptable level of risk, the safety and wellbeing of our riders is paramount and the risk posed to our horses and ponies being spooked is too high. These are some of the things that have gone wrong with wind turbines in the UK:
• 1 February 2013: Turbine collapse, Cornwall
• 29 January 2013: Turbine collapse, Devon
• 6 June 2012: Multiple blade failure, Northern Ireland
• 13 January 2012: Nacelle and blades detached, Llandinam, Powys
• 6 January 2012: Blade detached, Renfrewshire
• 8 December 2011: Nacelle fire and disintegration at Ardrossan, Ayrshire
• 8 December 2011: Turbine collapsed to ground close to road, Coldingham, Scotland.
The British Horse Society have investigated the potential hazards with wind turbines and horses and they believe that horses may react adversely to the following:
• blade shadows – in sunshine the rotors of a wind turbine will cast a shadow on the ground that the horses are being asked to cross and this may frighten some horses. Shadows cast from a blade are very different from those cast by any other moving object, because of their speed and because the object casting the shadow is probably not obvious to a horse. The shadow is perhaps perceived as an animal or other live threat. These shadows can affect a considerable distance from the turbine at certain times of the day or year when the sun is very low. Blade shadows are not a problem if the turbine is to the north of the right of way or road. Shadows are longest early in the morning and in the evening – both times when more horses are being exercised.
• blades that start to turn while in a horse’s sight line or turning blades that first come into view at eye level.
• noise of blades and motors, particularly with higher wind speed, or in high speed tests
If you would like our riders to continue to have the great opportunity they currently enjoy then please register your point of view. You can do this in a series of different ways, these are:
1. Write to Miss V Williams, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/09 Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Come along on Friday 25th October to Whittington Village Hall from 3pm for an open event, with a talk at 7pm
Don’t let greed get in the way of making a difference to those in society that we should all look to support, please do what you can to support us.
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