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Famous outdoors writer backs windfarm fight

Posted 27 December 2012
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Famous outdoors writer backs windfarm fight
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The fight against a proposed windfarm situated yards from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park may have gained a new boost after one of Scotland's best-known writers on the outdoors accused the Scottish government of undermining its own Year of Natural Scotland campaign.

Cameron McNeish, who has written several books and was former editor of TGO Magazine, said it was hypocritical of the Scottish government - via the auspices of Visit Scotland - to promote tourism in 2013 while allowing the country's finest scenery to be affected in this manner.

Backing the Save the Monadhliath Mountains (SMM) campaign against the proposed Allt Duine windfarm, he said: "It is ironic that the Government, through Visit Scotland, is championing a campaign to conserve and promote Scotland's natural beauty, while considering the possibility of granting permission for 31 giant turbines a few hundred metres from the boundary of a national park."

SMM has noted the Allt Duine proposal - on which a decision will be made in 2013 - is one of 11 in the Cairngorms area, which could leave the largest national park in the country surrounded by giant metal turbines, something many who like to go walking there could be distinctly unhappy about.

Walkers in the Molnadhliath Mountains might be particularly unhappy as this area is perhaps the most unspoilt part of the national park.

Several existing peaks have plenty of signs of human activity there, such as Cairn Gorm itself with its ski resort and funciaular railway, as well as the Munros around the Glen Shee resort and its buildings and apparatus (Glas Maol, The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda). Corbetts affected by buildings include those around the Lecht ski resort and Morrone, which has a mountain rescue building and radio transmitter on its summit.

The area near Allt Duine has none of these. The only human traces are a couple of tracks for four-wheel drive vehicles, some small hunting huts, a few fences and mountaintop cairns on peaks like a'Chailleach, Carn Sgulain and Carn an Freacheadain.

Mr McNeish and SMM are clearly determined to keep it that way.