Wind farms are destroying our wilderness

EVER stood in the middle of a remote part of the Scottish countryside and listened - to the sound of nothing?

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Not a car, a bus, a train, the sound of human chatter - just nothingness.

The only sounds likely to break the silence are those of nature itself - an eagle, a herd of red deer.

It's a wonderful feeling, the ideal way to escape the stresses of living and working in the city.

I've been walking the hills and glens of Scotland for more than 30 years.

The scenery and drama is unmatched. Apart from the people, Scotland's sense of wilderness and solitude is its greatest asset. So why is it being destroyed in front of our eyes?

Do the planners who claim to have our country's future at heart not realise the damage they are doing?

Eaglesham Moor, just south of Glasgow, was once one of the most remote parts of southern Scotland.

Some people are awe-struck at the massive onshore windfarm development it now houses - the biggest in Europe.

I'm afraid I can't share their sense of wonderment - I see it as one of the biggest eyesores blighting our beautiful countryside.

Sadly, it is the tip of the iceberg. Take a drive down the A74 and there are turbines on almost every hillside. If you travel the back roads of Ayrshire, there they are, sticking out like sore thumbs.

Yesterday the Scottish Government went to court and won approval for a 103-turbine development on Shetland.

There is also a plan to site 24 turbines - 125 metres tall - on Rannoch Moor.

Rannoch Moor, for God's sake, the greatest wilderness area we have left in the country.

Imagine if a regular visitor to this country took his friends on holiday to show off his favourite remote area of Scotland - only to be confronted with some giant turbines.

He might not be back - but we need these people, who contribute massively to our rural economy.

I have one more problem with these monstrosities apart from their "blot on the landscape" qualities.

I'm just not convinced they do what it says on the tin. Call it technical naivete but when there is no wind and the turbine rotors are not moving, then I take it there is no power being generated.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not 100% against turbines - and I'm very much in favour of green forms of energy. But put them in the right place, not in the middle of our precious countryside.

I have long argued that offshore windfarms, properly located, would be far more viable.

There would be guaranteed wind and wave power 24 hours a day, they would not be so visually intrusive, and they wouldn't make people like me cringe.

Or is our stunning landscape something to be sacrificed in the name of progress?

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