Comment posted RSPB says Bagmoor Wind appeal on Stacain windfarm damages renewables industry’s good name by Alex McKay.
Don’t expect to read either Mitchell’s book or that article and to learn the truth. Both contain misleading statements, exaggerations and not a few errors of fact. Mitchell seems to think that just because there are lots of corncrakes elsewhere in Europe, we shouldn’t bother to try and save our own small population. If we went down that route, you could argue that we shouldn’t bother to protect a majority of Britain’s birds, wild flowers and much else because there are far more of them elsewhere in Europe. Mitchell carefully doesn’t mention anywhere that the Rio Biodiversity Convention to which the UK government is a signatory, and which the Scottish government strongly supports, requires countries to maintain or enhance the variety of species (biodiversity) within their boundaries including both the populations *and* their ranges. Why should we lose iconic species like corncrakes just because there are many elsewhere? This question has been put to Mitchell, but I’ve not heard an answer from him.
Alex McKay also commented
- Treblet’s comments pose several questions. Has he considered that the blackbirds might have been killed by traffic on the road? Or if not can he explain what they were doing flying 10 m or so above the ground? Why does he think geese are going to be disturbed by a small domestic turbine? And isn’t every point around the turbine “in a direct line” with it?
- I can’t. As far as anyone knows, no eagle has been killed by a wind turbine in the UK, though relatively small numbers of other birds have. And the obvious reason (to me if not to you) why no eagle has been killed by a turbine is because, thanks to the efforts of the conservation bodies, but also through the cooperation of the more responsible developers, windfarms in the UK (unlike in several other countries, e.g. USA and Norway) have not been put up in places where they pose major threats to eagles. And that is the situation which the opposition to Stacain wishes to continue.
As for the Severn Barrage, I’m sure the RSPB would be flattered by your claim that they had that much influence. They certainly objected – mentioning the 69,000 waders that use the estuary (slightly more than your “a few”), but if you examine the proposal carefully as well as the reasons for its cancellation, you will find that the economic situation was what killed it off. Indeed, the government announcement at the time said that it could well be looked at again if market conditions improved.
- John Patrick may say that he is “speaking from [a] position of knowledge” unlike, he appears to claim, everyone else, but his knowledge fails him when he claims that “This area was also designated a protected area after the developers had received planning permission from Argyll & Bute Council as a means to stop the developer at any cost by SNH”. The Special Protected Area designation which covers the area is not one that is put in place by SNH, unlike, for example, SSSIs, but a European designation. The proposal for the suite of six Golden Eagle SPAs came from the Scottish Government (who were informed by the EU that they hadn’t given enough protection to the Golden Eagle) and the government asked SNH, as is usual for European designations (SPAs and SACs), to carry out the necessary consultations. The results of the consultations on such designations are passed by SNH to the government who then take the decision to declare (or sometimes not declare, or sometimes amend) the designated areas. John Patrick’s attacks on SNH are therefore inaccurate and based on a lack of knowledge.
As to whether or not the RSPB representative had visited the site, what, exactly, was a visit meant to show him? That it was a windy hilltop? The necessary assessment regarding the proximity of the proposed wind turbines to the eagles’ nesting and hunting grounds can be done without a visit. The RSPB and SNH have a depth of knowledge on the siting of windfarms in relation to birds and other wildlife throughout Scotland which no single developer, or indeed, their environmental consultant, can possibly match.
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- Inside information saves Oban Lifeboat from needless shout to fishing boat
But surely that type of “inside information” won’t disappear if Clyde Coastguard is closed. There will still be local crews on the lifeboats with their local knowledge.
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