When she arrived 30 years ago, the area was untouched and as close to wilderness as you get in Ayrshire.
A 19th century hill farm which once boasted 3000 acres of grazing for hardy sheep was paradise to flautist Pat Spence and her husband John.
They were drawn to the wide open upland, the silence, the peace – and the fact they could get an awful lot for their money.
She found one outbuilding perfect for her work as a classical music publisher and John, a public relations worker, could also operate from home.
Stone barns clustered at the rear of the large farmhouse of Dochroyle, the garden was perfect for Pat’s gardening hobby, and it came with 35 acres.
It stands in isolation down a rough track three miles from Barrhill.
But today widowed Pat, now 73 and still running Piper Publications, reveals: “It was a lovely place – but this is now my torture chamber.
“When we came up here we never thought anything would happen to the area, power generating windmills were unheard of. ”
There is an inner ring of 184 windmills at Mark, Arecleoch and Kilgallioch with more in the pipeline.
An outer ring – some of which she can also see including Hadyard near Dailly – is likely when Tralorg, Glenapp, Strannoch and Assel Foot happen.
Pat first became ill a year ago when forestry was felled, giving vibrations a clear path to the house. She said: “I came to realise I was waking up during the night as much as five times.
“I felt and feel terrible and it is like a cross between a heart attack and a panic attack.
“The sleep deprivation is becoming a serious problem and I feel the rhythms are trying to take over my body rhythms.Due to balance being connected to hearing, it makes me feel sick.
“Until 12 months ago I thought the worst thing about the turbines was the look of them. But now it’s my health.
“I came here for peace yet might as well be living in the middle of an industrial estate.
“There are times when I can feel my whole house shake. It was built solidly in 1898 and until about five years ago there were no plaster cracks.
“Now I have cracks and the doors are difficult or impossible to close properly.”
Pat believes she now has to flee the land she loves so much.
Others also feel the whirring giants are affecting their health, including David Baldwin who lives near Hadyard Hill.
Pat shows a letter from him four years ago complaining of an “all-consuming pulsating rumble” when his house is downwind.
David wrote: “It is like the noise inside an industrial manufacturing plant and has had negative health affects on several members of our family including stress, depression and an increase in headaches.”
Dochroyle sits on a hill and she believes the lower ground surrounding her “acts as an enormous resonating echo chamber”.
Pat said: “It is almost impossible to sell a house close to a wind farm, let alone one completely surrounded, and a valuer knocked £50,000 off because of the turbines.
“There is no compulsory compensation scheme such as you would get with a new airport or motorway.
“It seems that my only route is to ask the power companies to buy me out.
“People have become so ill because of the noise and flicker that they have already moved away. This happened at Tralorg and it is generally believed the operating company bought them out.”
Pat is sick of the David and Goliath battles the power companies wage, the slick PR presentations where they host meetings with locals before application and the “blood money” promise of community cash.
She believes that while things are not as bad as blatant dirty tricks, there is a lack of openness.
Pat said a recent meeting to do with another wind farm proposal was staged and only one member of the community was initially invited.
Letters asking for information go unanswered and meetings have to be “gatecrashed” by locals.
Pat said: “Their applications always include a soothing technical summary with enough techno gabble to discourage anyone but the most intrepid to plough through.
All they want at the end of the day is to make lots and lots of money from wind.
“I would like to see them prove they care about people like me.
“And I am afraid that now means buying me out, small change from their billions of pounds of revenue.”
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