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War declared on Perthshire wind turbines

Residents across Highland Perthshire are mobilising against the spread of windfarms, which they believe will scar their landscape for generations.

Many turbines have already risen in previously unspoilt parts of the region and a staggering number of new schemes – 10 near Dunkeld and Birnam alone – are in the planning process.

As a result, horrified communities are increasingly taking matters into their own hands to oppose developers.

Many believe they are being unfairly targeted by developers who are looking to increasingly precious sites on which to construct their turbines.

Residents in Dunkeld and Birnam have already launched their Trees not Turbines campaign as they battle plans for more than 80 new turbines.

They include the 17 proposed for Dulater – a highly sensitive site near to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve and the Forest of Clunie, to the west of Dunkeld.

Now the residents of Rannoch have launched their own Keep Rannoch Wild campaign to resist the giant Talladh a Bheithe scheme, which would consist of 24 turbines, each 125 metres tall.

If given the go-ahead, it’s feared it could adversely affect some of Scotland’s finest natural assets, including views from Schiehallion, the Ben Alder massif, the mountains above Glen Lyon and Loch Tay, and some above the Drumochter Pass.

Campaigners will work with the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and local estates, among others.

Keep Rannoch Wild spokesman Douglas Wynn said: “The Talladh a Bheithe scheme is simply an attempt to make huge private profits by creating an ugly, 
industrial development on lands in the Perthshire Highlands that are renowned as a wild and beautiful place for people and nature.

“We have been delighted by the strength of local feeling against the windfarm and the determination of most residents, businesses and estates to protect Rannoch as one of Scotland’s great unspoiled places.

“Keep Rannoch Wild is calling on Perth and Kinross councillors to join us in opposing this scheme and to press Scottish Ministers to make sure it is rejected.”

The proposed site on the Talladh a Bheithe Estate lies between the remote Ben Alder group of hills to the north and Schiehallion and Cross Crags to the south.

It would require the widening of access tracks through the Tay Forest National Scenic Area, the creation of new service tracks at the site, and the construction of a number of support buildings.

Mr Wynn said: “This is an area recognised for its wild land qualities and habitat value for eagles and several protected species. We believe that the loss and damage to this irreplaceable landscape makes this a site too far.”

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has urged rejection of the plan, which it believes would threaten the wild landscape of Rannoch.