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Teen spirit over turbines plan

A Scottish schoolgirl has urged ministers to rein in the march of wind turbines amid concern that the government’s drive for onshore wind is “ruining the beautiful scenery”.

Jessica McCreadie, 15, is opposing plans by RES, a renewable energy firm, to build 13 turbines on Highlee Hill, a natural beauty spot in the Scottish Borders southeast of Hawick. The turbines, up to 176 metres high, would be visible from her parents’ farm. “I love being able to look at the horizon without a huge pole in my face,” she said.

McCreadie, a pupil at Jedburgh grammar school, has outlined her concerns in a letter to Scottish Borders council.

The teenager argues that she does “not want her countryside ruined by greed and a Scottish government not making the right choices”. She adds: “I really hope that you [the council] are not going to go ahead for the sake of all of us young Scots.”

The teenager’s opposition to the scheme, earmarked on land owned by the Church of England, is among more than 100 letters of protest from residents who fear the wind farm will scar the countryside, damage tourism and disrupt wildlife. The area is home to peregrines, kites, merlins and hen harriers.

Rob Armstrong, who runs a holiday let business in the village of Denholm in the Teviot Valley, said: “Our guests say turbines will make this area a less attractive place to visit. It feels like we are being bullied by powerful wind farm developers.”

McCreadie, who lives with her family on Upper Toft’s farm, is planning to recruit other young Scots to oppose the wind farm.

“Most of my friends feel the same way as me.”

A spokesman for the Church of England Commissioners said: “In line with climate change policy and the switch to a low-carbon economy, the commissioners support the application by RES to build wind turbines at Highlee Hill”.

Last month, for the first time on record, wind turbines generated more electricity than was used in the whole of Scotland on a single day. WWF Scotland found unseasonably stormy weather saw turbines create about 106% of the total amount of electricity used by every home and business in the country on August 7.