Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fermyn Wind Farm

Rest assured that a strong argument on behalf of the friends of the Purple Emperor, and their allies, will be put to any public inquiry into the proposed wind farm at Fermyn Woods. I cannot give too much away at this stage, but an inquiry would need to know that a large number of folk visit these woods from late June to late July to engage with this most wondrous insect in a most wondrous landscape - and that giant wind turbines would detract horrifically from that experience for most if not all of them. I have kept records of the number of Purple enthusiasts seen in the woods and have been able to extrapolate an annual total - and it's massive. There are positive implications for the local economy.

I appreciate that many of us, including me, strongly support moves towards greener energy, including wind farms; it's just that nearly all, or perhaps all, the People of Purple Persuasion regard the Fermyn Woods complex as being an immensely special landscape, well worthy of vigorous protection, and a grossly inappropriate site for giant wind turbines.

In addition, Fermyn Woods is 'BB's heartland. 'BB', a.k.a Denis Watkins-Pitchford, was a eminent servant of His Imperial Majesty who lived, painted and wrote at nearby Sudborough. He lived and breathed Rockingham Forest. His book Brendon Chase fired up my enthusiam for the Purple Emperor, and changed my life. He would fiercely resent giant wind turbines in the middle of his heartland. I and many others owe him a lot, and our views will be made known to an inquiry. His writing, his history and his values are part of that landscape, and will be defended.

I would welcome cogent arguments and facts for possible inclusion in proof of evidence - via email to matthew.oates@nationaltrust.org.uk (I am working on this in National Trust time).

There is also the issue of the backdrop to the National Trust's Lyveden New Bield property, shown here without wind turbines ....

'What we have loved others will love; and we may teach them how'

William Wordsworth, Prelude XIII 444-5.


Jonny D said...

Am struggling with this - as a conservation professional, I am all for not siting wind turbines in places where they stand to harm the indigineous wildlife in the immediate environs, so no wind farms on uplands where eagles thermal at blade height, no turbines in the flight paths of breeding Red-throated Divers, and no wind installations on pristine blanket bog please.

But in this instance, what you're talking about is loss of visual amenity. Not damage to the woods, nor the wildlife therein. Granted, they ain't pretty, but really, nor are electricity pylons, and despite our forebears protesting vigorously about those, we've grown used to them and barely notice them nowadays. Indeed, the cleared spaces beneath them through woodlands are good for butterflies! And the access tracks and 'dead' ground beneath wind turbines are good for Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, and in the uplands, breeding waders.

Please, some balance!

Matthew Oates said...

Please, some facts! 5 x 416' turbines between Fermyn Wood & Lady Wood, in a major Red Kite release area and an area of considerable importance for bats (including high-flying species and Barbastelle).... And what we're really talking about here is loss of heritage landscape, not mere visual amenity. We're on the same side here Jonny....