Scotland’s mountaineers have accused VisitScotland of ignoring the dire consequences of a windfarm planned for a prime site mentioned in Outlander.
VisitScotland has been challenged by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland to oppose a massive windfarm development that threatens Rannoch Moor which it has included on its Outlander map of Scotland.
The MCoS said it was “bizarre” that VisitScotland and the Scottish Government were calling on tourists to visit scenery which could contain a development affecting the views of more than 30 Munros and Corbetts, including Schiehallion.
The call comes as Diana Gabaldon, author of the cult historical novels renewed her calls for the Talladh a Bheithe wind farm, near Loch Rannoch, to be scrapped.
David Gibson, Mountaineering Council of Scotland Chief Officer, said: “The visitor appeal of Rannoch Moor will be ruined if this industrial-scale wind farm goes ahead, VisitScotland must speak out. It is bizarre that VisitScotland and the Scottish Government keep calling for tourists to enjoy our wild and unspoilt lands while policies are pursued that could turn them into industrial sites.
“We are calling on the Scottish Government to completely rule out large scale wind farms in the wild and natural areas which are essential to Scottish tourism. That means new planning controls which clearly prohibit such developments in all wild land areas, not just national parks and national scenic areas.
“It is brilliant that Outlander is having such a valuable effect on tourism and shows that we should be using our wild lands and mountain spaces to develop sustainable tourism, not as a source of vast profits for multi-national power companies and big land owners.”
Earlier this week the US author said: “One of the most gratifying things about the TV show is that we were able to film it in Scotland, and that the staggering natural beauty of Scotland is as much a character as are any of the actors.
“I’ve heard from hundreds of fans that seeing the show has convinced them that they must go to Scotland, and from hundreds more who have already come to experience it for themselves. Frankly, given the undoubted economic value of tourism to Scotland, it seems insane to sacrifice one of its most scenic landscapes for the sake of an electrical pittance.”
Rannoch Moor, one of the key locations for the show, which is threatened by a proposal to industrialise the area with 24 wind turbines, each 125m tall, together with 12.8km of wide access tracks, buildings and infrastructure.
The development would affect views from more than 30 Munros and Corbetts, including Schiehallion, the Ben Alder massif, mountains above Glen Lyon, the Drumochter Hills and Buachaille Etive Mor. The turbines would also be visible from the iconic West Highland Railway line and the A82 – the main tourist route through the West Highlands.
More than 1,000 formal objections have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council who are to examine the scheme in the near future.
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