Thursday, 8 May 2008

A Voice from the past

While doing some filing I came across a paper I had written 27 years ago. It was presented at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and as I recall caused a considerable rumpus at the time. In fact the Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund contacted the Lord Craigton the Chairman of the Fauna Preservation Society (now FFI), and asked that I resign -- I was the Executive Secretary. It is difficult over a quarter of a century later to see what all the fuss was about, but it reached the columns of the Times newspaper, with conservationists joining in to defend my comments.

What I found interesting re-reading this paper (and it should be borne in mind it was given to the Palaeontolgy section of the Conference)is that nearly a decade before we founded the World Land Trust, it was already becoming apparent that land purchase was going to be the best way of conserving wildlife.

And interestingly, at the time I was writing a new glacial period seemed more likely than he global warming we are now recording. Times change, but the number of endangered species continues to spiral out of control. And then as now, human population was the key issue. And it still remains unaddressed.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Lewis Wind Farm Refused Consent by the Scottish Government

An update from WLT supporter, Deborah Kilner, on the proposed wind farm in Lewis.

When I wrote about the proposed Lewis wind farm (in 2004!), I never dreamt it would take until April 2008 to get a decision - thankfully, a full refusal of this inappropriate scheme put forward by AMEC and British Energy. The members of Moorland without Turbines (MWT) have continued to work tirelessly in defence of their much loved environment and they deserve sincere congratulations for their succesful campaign.

The Scottish Government's Energy Minister, Jim Mather, made the following quotes on why the scheme was rejected:

"I have considered this application very carefully. I have listened to representations from the applicant, taken the views of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (the Western Isles Council) and considered the 10,924 objections and 98 letters of support."

"The Lewis Wind Farm would have significant adverse impacts on the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area, which is designated due to its high value for rare and endangered birds."

There is no doubt that the professional approach of the MWT volunteers in persisting with rallying local resistance to the AMEC/British Energy proposals was an absolutely pivotal factor in the decision to refuse planning permission.

Much though the decision has been greeted with relief, there is still an ongoing battle to oppose two other large schemes - the Eisgein proposal from multi-millionare Mr Nick Oppenheim, now much amended from his original scheme, and the other large proposal for the Pairc area.

It really has been a "David & Goliath" contest and it is not every day that ordinary people take on and beat large corporations like AMEC and British Energy.

Please take a moment to look at MWT's web site, if you are interested in finding out more: