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RSPB boosts Strathy South fight

Hans Joosten, professor of peatland studies and palaeoecology at the University of Greifswald in Germany, will support RSPB Scotland’s case against SSE’s proposed 39-turbine Strathy South wind farm in the Flow Country of Sutherland.

Joosten, an expert on peatlands and their significance for carbon storage and climate change, will give evidence at special hearing on peatland.

He said: “The Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland is world renowned as the largest Atlantic blanket bog in Europe.

“Scotland has a reputation as a peatland country and how this immensely important site is treated will be of interest to other peatland nations.”

The wind farm, which was originally to have 77 turbines, has already encountered opposition from conservation organisations including RSPB Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Plantlife Scotland and BugLife.

RSPB said the Scottish Government’s own advisors, Scottish Natural Heritage, have also recommended refusal as has the Highland Council.

Also giving evidence at a special hearing on the peatlands will be Clifton Bain, RSPB senior policy officer and director of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme.

A public inquiry into Strathy South will start on Monday 20 April at Strathy Village hall.