On 25 July the John Muir Trust responded immediately to the announcement by the UK government of the new subsidy level for wind energy production – a reduction of only 10%. The Trust called for legal protection for the top 10% of Wild Land in the UK.
Wild land mapdetaillWebStuart Brooks, chief executive of the Trust, said: “There are two aspects of major concern for lovers of natural landscapes from current energy policies. Most of the UK’s top 10% of Wild Land has no statutory protection and there are now a host of applications for industrial energy developments coming through in iconic areas, for instance in the Scottish  Highlands and the Lake District.

Uninterrupted Goldrush
“The Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROCs) subsidy just announced favours large scale onshore wind developments, rather than energy conservation measures or other more environmentally sensitive renewable schemes.  The cut in wind subsidy is not enough to reduce the goldrush despoiling our landscapes.”
Stuart Brooks continued: “We are at a tipping point regarding Wild Land. Scottish Natural Heritage data showed that, in 2002, 41% of Scotland was unaffected by visual impact from built development, but in 2009 that figure dropped to 28% - mainly due to wind developments. 

Protection Need
“We’re asking all UK governments to explain what measures they will put in place for natural landscape protection.”
It is reported that the Treasury is looking at how to change the English planning process around turbines to try to give local communities more say, and potentially how they can share some of the financial benefits.  
However, any such measure would bring no protection to Scottish wild land areas.
The Trust’s Wild Land campaign is seeking statutory protection for Wild Land so that it is there for the next generation.

 

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