Peeblesshire MP David Mundell has hit out at the scale of tree felling carried out to make way for windfarms.
It has emerged that more than five million trees have been chopped down to make way for turbines north of the border in the past six years – many in his own constituency.
And he is now calling for a slow down in the number of new applications being given the green light.
Mr Mundell told the Peeblesshire News: “Here in this part of the world we have seen far too many large scale windfarm developments given the green light with little or no thought to the wishes of local people or the needs of the countryside.
“The SNP is so blindly obsessed with renewable energy that it doesn’t mind destroying another important environmental attribute to make way for it and I think these numbers show it is time for a rethink.
“It is disappointing to say the least that as many trees have been destroyed as there are people in Scotland to make way for unpopular turbines that have so far proven to be an expensive, intermittent and unreliable source of energy.”
New information obtained by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed 2,510 hectares have been destroyed since 2007 as the Scottish Government attempts to meet its own renewable energy targets.
Mr Mundell criticised that only a fraction of the lost trees have been replanted, with the number of hectares destroyed equating to around five million trees.
The MP fears that not replacing the lost forestry opens up the prospect of increased flooding in some communities and has a damaging effect on the local countryside.
He added: “My own view is that we need a diverse energy mix that guarantees that we can keep the lights on and that spreads the environmental burden. It is unfair and wrong for rural communities and landscapes to have to pay such a high price to meet the Scottish Governments renewable energy targets and I wish the SNP would listen to local people on this issue.”
The figures were received following a Freedom of Information request made to the Forestry Commission Scotland.
They show that despite the 2,510 hectares felled, only 792 hectares have been replanted in their place after the turbines were erected.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding