Wind Turbines, Derbyshire
Wind Turbines and the multi installation Wind Farms have been a bone of contention since they started to appear in the British Countryside and Coastal waters. Love them or hate them I guess they are here to stay. Do they despoil the countryside, well that is again a question of view point. I think what has appalled some folk, myself included, is the mass concentration in restricted areas. It reminds me of the mass Conifer forestations that were a planted between the wars. Trees so close and dense nothing grows beneath, no light penetrates and they become mono cultures of Conifer. Thankfully time and science has shown there is a better way to re-forest the countryside.
Back to Wind Turbines…. well, spread well apart I am not sure that they spoil the countryside, just change the view. With space between, birds, plants, farm animals and wildlife can go about there business without much danger. As for the view above…well in centuries gone traditional Windmills were spread across this part of the world, one old stump, without its sails can be seen in the image. Nor is it any wonder that so many projects have been subject to Public Enquires when so many of these ‘farms’ were to be dumped upon vital wild habitat, reducing further our bio-diversity of large areas.
It is my view that so many folk hate windfarms is that our Government just forced them upon us. They relaxed planning restrictions and gave big grants for investors to construct the sites…Investors who by all accounts have walked away when returns were not as great as hyped, but after they got their grants! Not part of a master plan but a fad.
The Windfarms in Coastal waters are stand alone features. Surely thought and development could have ensure that apart from wind generated electricity, wave power generation could have been incorporated into the location with the same infrastructure used for bringing the power ashore and its distribution. Maybe even the environmental impact could have been helped by creating under water reefs, providing habitat for sea creatures and young fish stocks
Climate Change is very real and life will change for all of us. Nor am I concerned that folk like you, me and our families will fail to respond to the challenges and changes ahead.
What does concern me is that Governments and most certainly the UK Government has so far failed to do any real ‘joined up’ thinking. Main infrastructure programs seem to just stumble from one fad to another. Fossil Fuel replacement hasn’t happened in a substantial way, Nuclear Plants are closing and major new ones that were announced with such hype are stalling. Farming, Housing and Industrial building require a strategic land use plan. Potential water shortages and the opposite threat of major flooding with rising sea levels and coastal erosion all require a positive programme to address the issues. But these need a coordinated policy not disjointed actions going in different directions.
As for infrastructure, well we have the HS2 High Speed Rail Link. Set to destroy hundreds of ancient woodlands, vital habitat, along its route. OK! they say they will plant several thousand new trees. But how do you replace ancient woodland with a new tree? not possible.
New trees yes please, we need them to help the climate change balance but in addition to and not in replacement of.
Following the Climate Messages of this last week I get both annoyed and depressed that Government reaction is to suggest that we the public have to do our bit…so to help us, new restrictions and controls will be introduced. Yet so far I have yet to hear them define what actions they are going to take to secure our collective futures in this changing climate.
And that is my real fear. It is not what you and I will be doing to make a difference … but what Governments are failing to do.
(C) David Oakes 2019