Climate Change will not kill Raptors but the Government’s cure might! (Part Two)

Because of the vital importance of the wind-farm debate and the significant detrimental effect wind-farms pose to raptors in particular throughout the world, Raptor Politics decided to publish a second part to the above article. We now enclose three important comments each relating to the damage being caused to wildlife by these dangerous installations and the way valid concerns are being ignored by unscrupulous developers, landowners, and dismissed entirely by the regulators with a statutory responsibility for wildlife security and safety.

First Comment submitted by G.M.Lindsay

  • This article MUST be sent to all politicians (local and national). Wind developers are seemingly getting off with murder (literally).It’s likely that many politicians know about the impact of turbine blades on raptors but keep their heads down as gamekeepers and landowners are easier targets – and it plays to their socialist prejudices!!

 Second comment submitted by Tim Sarney

  • We have been fighting a proposed giant wind farm development by Community Wind-power on Claughton and Whit Moors 6km inside the Forest of Bowland AONB for nearly 2 years. The area is used by peregrine, hen harrier, short eared owl and merlin plus other more common raptors and corvids. In addition it is also an important breeding area for upland waders. As part of our objection campaign we have engaged specialist ecologists for otters, amphibians and invertebrates. However we have found it extremely difficult to find an experienced bird watcher willing to assist us due to conflict of interest. Most we have approached are working as paid consultants for the wind farm companies.
  • We are fortunate in that Natural England, the RSPB, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the County Ecologist still maintain objections however the Environment Agency has recently withdrawn its objection after extensive lobbying by the developer. The EA has listed a series of conditions should the development go ahead. The problem with conditions is that these are supposed to be enforced by the local council. Local councils do not have the money or the staff to enforce conditions, particularly complex ecology and hydrology conditions. If conditions are required the application should be refused.
  • An example is the 50m meteorological mast which is monitoring wind speeds for the turbine design. This has been up for some time now and is a guyed structure. One of the planning conditions is that the guy wires should have bird deflectors in place to prevent collisions – 42 of them. Since we started monitoring the mast in early February there have been less than 10 deflectors in place, the others have fallen off. This has been brought to the developer’s attention by the RSPB and the local council but they had still not been replaced by the end of April. They are probably still missing today.
  • If a simple condition like bird deflectors on a met mast cannot be enforced how can a 600 acre complex environmental management plan which is being proposed by the developer as mitigation for the 126m turbines be enforced and monitored?

 Third comment submitted by Lyndsey

  • I agree with all that has been written in the article above. I have long been concerned with the numbers of birds killed by turbines and denied by the developers. The wildlife ‘expert’ for the Druim Ba development told me, at one of their exhibitions, that we ‘didn’t give birds enough credit and they were intelligent enough to avoid the blades’. His response to me mentioning Smola and the Altamont Pass was they were just wind farms built in the wrong place. He later asked me if I had heard of the swan killed by flying into transmission lines – not so intelligent after all!I wrote to the Gamekeepers Associations in England and Scotland about the blame being levelled at keepers for the decline in numbers of raptors and pointing out wind farms could be at least partly responsible – I received no reply. I also wrote to BASC who acknowledged my comments and said they would get back to me – they didn’t.
  • I have been told, in confidence, by a keeper with a wind farm on the hills he manages, that the bird deaths are covered up. He would lose his job if he spoke out. It’s a disgraceful state of affairs and the politicians have been told many times but they won’t listen or investigate.

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7 comments to Climate Change will not kill Raptors but the Government’s cure might! (Part Two)

  • John Miles

    My son was offered £200 for one days work on a wind farm study. He did not take it. You see why so many bird watchers will not come forward and give evidence against the wind farms. Many ex RSPB staff have now retired and make an extra living off these companies. As said before, perhaps now may be it time to name and shame these people!

    • Scampi

      Like who – go one, name them!

      How about doing a bit of research on the REAL affects of windfarms. Yes, some are built in the wrong place, Like Smola, but some can be built in the right place, and their carbon emission life cycle is not horrific, and pay back times can bve as little as 5 years in a development with a 25 year operational life. Unles you build them on deep peat, then they are in the wrong place! This is an issue where facts are important, and consideration of these will reveal that there is a middle ground. Yes, some people will try to make money from this regardless of costs, but many conservationists accept they are needed, not to solve the whole problem, but to contribute to its solution, and there is a good deal of sensible, sound science being done, by conservationisits and others to try to site these things appropraitely. Try Wind farm sensitivity maps being developed by SNH, NE, RSPB and BTO for starters!

      Raptor populations in the uK are locally and nationally affected by a number of factors, of which persecution and windfarm collisions are but two. The is little evidence that wind farms have any effect on any raptore population in the UK, but that persecution has some, mainly localised effects, with the notable exception of hen harriers.
      Please, less ranting and more factual analysis.

      • Admin

        Just like your spelling and grammar, or lack of it!

      • Lyndsey

        Believe me Scampi I have done my research. This website is concerned with raptor populations but wind farms are wrong on so many levels. Without doubt raptors are being affected by turbines now and if the numbers of wind farms continue to rise rapidly more damage will be done. Wind farm developers are attracted to the same areas as birds of prey. Carrion feeders are particularly at risk – feeding on the bodies of smaller birds & bats killed by the blades laying beneath the turbines. It is NOT a legal requirement to report bird attrition – that is why there is little evidence. How could it ever be accurate anyway with bodies being removed by predators before they were found and logged? Any reporting would be a start though.

        The pollution caused by the manufacture and installation of wind farms is immense. Thousands and thousands of tonnes of concrete are used in the turbine bases and the infrastructure. Neodymium sourced from China for use in the turbines causes a toxic waste land where it is mined and extracted – people are dying because of it. This isn’t emotive nonsense this is happening. The governments know it is happening but heads are firmly in the sand. The carbon payback times, developers quote, do not have factored into their calculations all that is relevant. I know I have read some of the Environmental Statements produced by developers.

        There is soon to be a film released called ‘Con with the Wind’ – nothing has ever been so aptly titled. Nigel Spence, a British filmmaker and director, has spent 3 years examining the situation in 15 countries. The film will be shocking and show the youth of today what they will be paying for – for the next 25 years of guaranteed inflated subsidies.

  • Mike Price

    I am not sure how we would go about it, but its vital that this issue gets far more publicity.
    The RSPB and BTO should be looking into exactly what effects these farms are having and a full enquiry should be undertaken looking into how these people have been manipulated or should that be corrupted?

  • Lyndsey

    The RSPB believe climate change will kill more birds than wind farms. For that reason, on the whole, they support wind energy.
    Climate change – another can of worms and why we are in this ridiculous situation of unachievable renewable targets and the race for wind power. For every scientist the government wheel out telling us we are all doomed there is at least one more saying the planet is actually cooling, the ice flows are increasing – as is the polar bear population. Until the climate change issue is addressed and the building of wind farms is stopped our wild lands and the creatures that inhabit them are at serious risk.

    The governments of the UK are hell bent on putting up thousands of turbines without realising the disastrous consequences of doing so. It is multi million pound business and who is going to be brave enough to say ‘we got it so very wrong’ ? Instead of heeding the other countries that are pulling back from wind power because they have found it too unreliable and they have wasted enough of their citizens money on it, our lot blunder blindly on destroying our environment. For what? Precious little power when we need it most – on cold still winter days. This is big business and people are making a lot of money out of the subsidies paid.

    The issue of bird attrition is hardly mentioned and denied it is a problem if it is. Everyone needs to write to their elected representatives ( and demand studies are done into raptor decline in areas where there are operational wind farms. If all the proposed developments go ahead in Scotland these birds don’t stand a chance. Look at the Highland Council’s own website under renewables and see the map and wind farms passed and in planning stage – it is truly frightening.

    Applications are being rail roaded through with little consideration for the communities or the environment. Wind turbines are a highly visual way of saying ‘ look at what we are doing to combat climate change, reduce emissions and save the planet’. Anyone who looks at the pollution caused by the manufacture and installation of wind farms would be horrified. It seems the politicians can’t do that. It is heartbreaking for those of us who love the wild lands to see this happening and we seem powerless to stop it. The land owners and developers are getting richer (from money added onto our energy bills) and the politicians, it would appear, are getting stupider! This insanity needs stopping before it is too late and, among many other things, our raptor populations are decimated.

  • paul williams

    Great posting Lyndsey, thank you.