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Mountaineering body calls on tourist chiefs to back windfarm fight

Posted 28 August 2012
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Mountaineering body calls on tourist chiefs to back windfarm fight
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The Scottish tourism industry has been urged to back the Mountaineering Council of Scotland's (MCoS) battle to limit the number of new windfarms being built among the peaks of the Highlands.

MCoS chief officer David Gibson said: "The Scottish government is billing 2013 as the
Year of Natural Scotland, whilst at the same time allowing our wild, open and beautiful
mountain landscapes to be industrialised with huge numbers of wind turbines and associated
bulldozed tracks."

He said this was at odds with Visit Scotland's position of telling people they can enjoy an "unspoilt wilderness" of beautiful mountains.

Mr Gibson said tourist chiefs should contact MSPs over the issue of the proliferation of onshore windfarms, arguing that this will damage the tourist industry.

People who like to go walking in Scotland may include many who feel strongly on the issue, with 170 windfarms already operating or under construction, while 295 more are in the planning stage or have gained consent, according to research by the mountaineering body.

It said this could mean as many as 5,000 turbines being built, with numerous extra service roads having to be constructed.

The MCoS wants a moratorium on the building of windfarms on the slopes of Munros or Corbetts and Mr Gibson called on the Scottish government to use the Year of Natural Scotland to "create a clear policy on what will be permitted and where".

It is the latest call in an ongoing campaign for what the organisation sees as an essential move to prevent the Scottish landscape being ruined permanently.

Although the two national parks will be safe from having developments within their boundaries, there is always the risk of them being constructed just outside, within clear view.

Such a case included the proposed Allt Duine windfarm in the Monadhliath Mountains, a range that partially lies in the Cairngorms National Park.

It sparked the Save the Monadhliath Mountains Campaign, which saw success when the Highland Council rejected initial proposals for a set of turbines that would be located just 400 metres from the national park boundary.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801436778-ADNFCR