Tam's Tall Tales

- Despoiling Highland Grandeur?

Wind Farm, South of Glasgow

Despoiling Highland Grandeur?

The "wild Highlands" are rapidly disappearing under wind farms and giant power lines, according to a Scotland's conservationist.

Sir John Lister-Kaye said the threat was so great - with plans for three sets of turbines within 10 miles of his country estate - that, if he had his time again, he would not now set up the eco-tourism business he started 40 years ago.

Sir John, who runs Aigas, a field study centre, is one of Scotland's best known nature writers and a former chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage. (Graphic of the river Beauly and Aigas golf course in winter is © Sylvia Duckworth via Wikimedia Commons )

He claims that the growth of wind farms in Scotland is ruining its tourism potential.

Sir John opened Aigas in 1976 as a place for tourists to learn about the Highlands' wildlife and ecology, - and it has attracted 200,000 visitors.

In terms of eco-tourism, Aigas is one of Scotland's success stories, employing 26 people and pumping over 1 million a year into the local economy. But Lister-Kaye says that he would now not 'even dream of' starting the eco-business ' if he had been aware of the impact of three major windfarms and the new Beauly-Denny power line.

"Our motto at Aigas is 'Sharing the wonders of the wild Highlands'. Frankly, with the Beauly-Denny power line immediately in front of us and being threatened by being enclosed by wind farms, the wild Highlands is rapidly disappearing," he said.

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Tam O'Ranter
July 2015

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