Welcome to the Highlands

Welcome to the Highlands, the land of  sparkling Burns, The Heather hughed Glens, High Mountains where the Eagles soar, a land of Deer and Salmon, Kilts and Pipes. The Corbetts, the Grahams and the Monros. A place to revitalise the Spirit and the Soul. This is a land of proud people, people that will give any man the time of day.

But today a certain sadness pervades all. In a desperate drive for fame our politicians have sold Scotland and its wild places to the lowest bidder. The march of the wind factories is heard in the Glens. Tourism for Scotland is dead. Our way of life crushed beneath the greed of mostly foreign adventurers and aided by our Government and Planners.

This is the opportunity for all you to have your say and perhaps we will save something for our children.

The first great requisite of motive power is; that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire.The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.

William Stanley Jevons (1865)

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

— John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir

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Attack on Glen Affric

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Nursery chimes

Dougal Quixote:

Many a true thing said in jest!

Originally posted on fenbeagleblog:

Nursery times 2   2

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Panic – The Ice is melting! Or is it?

We have had everyone from eminent scientists to world leaders telling us that Global Warming is proven by the melting ice caps. When I say eminent scientists I mean people like Sir Paul Nurse, who is a  geneticist and therefore knows every thing about ‘climate change’, and a whole phalanx of climate scientists(?) whatever they are. I believe oceanographers, paleoecologists, vulcanologists and meteorologists as experts in their fields but climatologists are groups of the great unwashed in my book. Those ‘scientists’ whose fields are diverse and have rarely got much to do with climate that ‘supported’ AGW in the beginning stated that science had come to a consensus. Consensus is a political word, not a scientific one. The moral to this is never believe those that make a good living from false science and live on the gravy train of climate change. Like all good scientists follow the data. So are the ice caps melting?

global.daily.ice.area.withtrend (1)

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Wind farm deliveries are prone to accidents

Deliveries on unsuitable roads are a bane of those living near windfarm construction sites. This facebook page reflects only one Hungarian company’s problems.

Memo to transport dept. Don’t employ Hungarian delivery drivers!

The story ends here at Barnmoor Wind Farm

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Are off-shore wind farms safe for our cetacean species?

A pod of 40 pilot whales were spotted in shallow waters near the offshore wind turbines off the Essex coast.

Observers said they appeared to be stressed and disorientated – one wale was found dead after the incident.

Insufficient research had been done on the effect of off-shore wind installations and their substructure on both of seabirds and under sea species.  Marine animals are known to be affected by the noise of piling in the construction phase and it is not unreasonable to suggest that vibration and noise will not have some adverse effects. Noise travels further and can be amplified in water.  What has not been adequately studied is the effect of EMF (Electro Magnetic Filed) waves from hi voltage cables buried just below the sea bed. Whales, Dolphin and Porpoises are known to navigate by electro magnetic methods.

Whales stranded in Essex

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National Trust for Scotland joins fight against Stronelairg windfarm

So Stronelairg isn’t dead and buried whatever SSE might hope!

Well, when someone like the National Trust for Scotland start complaining, even the Government should start listening. Click for the article

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Is one gravy train hitting the buffers?

Agricultural subsidies for farmers who allow solar panels to be built in their fields will be scrapped to stop the English countryside from being ‘blighted by solar farms’, the government has announced.

The Department for the Energy, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said yesterday’s announcement means that farmers will lose their right to claim subsidies for “fields filled with solar panels”.DEFRA said the plans would “ensure more agricultural land is dedicated to growing crops and food” and would “help rural communities who do not want their countryside blighted by solar farms”.

Ministers said they want to see farms dedicated to agriculture “to help boost our food and farming industry”.

When it comes into effect from next January, farmers who allow solar panels in their fields will no longer be eligible for any farm subsidy payments available through the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy for that land.

The move comes after the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), announced earlier this month that the Renewables Obligation subsidy for new large-scale solar farms with a capacity greater than 5MW will end next April.

Earlier this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government changed planning rules to prevent solar installations being installed in fields that could be used for reality solarfarming.

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “English farmland is some of the best in the world and I want to see it dedicated to growing quality food and crops.

“I do not want to see its productive potential wasted and its appearance blighted by solar farms.

“Farming is what our farms are for and it is what keeps our landscape beautiful.

“It makes my heart sink to see row upon row of solar panels where once there was a field of wheat or grassland for livestock to graze.”

Solar panels would be best placed on the 250,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops, Truss added, “where they will not compromise the success of our agricultural industry”.

According to DEFRA, the subsidy change would save up to £2 million of public money each year that would no longer be available for these subsidies.

The department said there are now 250 solar farms in the English countryside, with the biggest covering as much as 100 hectares, while more than 7,600 hectares of agricultural land across the UK is currently or planned to be used for solar farms.

Needless to say the Solar Industry are not happy. Build your solar arrays on brown filed sites then!

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Were you a Boy Scout?

It depends on the sort of person you are. Did you dig up the garden to install a fall out bunker during the cold war, now probably an underground pond or the centre of your mushroom business or did you consider, post apocalypse, the last people you would want to share a scorched earth with would be exactly those paying out huge sums for such hole in the back yard. But the energy crisis is a little more guaranteed and less costly to prepare for. Essentially it is like the the Boy Scout analogy. “Be Prepared”. Apologies to any Girl Guides. An auxiliary generator is not rocket science and installation is neither expensive or difficult.

There are two simple avenues: manually switched transfer(MST) or Automatically Switched Transfer (AST, sometimes referred to as AMF[automatic mains failure]). There is ONE MAJOR CAVEAT though. This is playing with the mains supply to the house between the electricity meter and the consumer unit. Legally, and practically, this is beyond the DIY enthusiast and should be done by a qualified electrician. It should take little more than an hour and the certificate provided will be useful for the insurers in the event of a future conflagration.

gen backup

First you need to ascertain your minimum power requirement. The fridge, freezer, central heating, lights and possibly water pump if you are on a private supply. A minimum requirement for a house is probably about 3kw. The cost of a manual transfer switch and 

3.5kw manual start generator is around £800 incl vat but plus installation. Hardly going to break the bank. The generator will run for about 10 hours and can be refilled, due care

being taken. Hot generators and petrol need to be treated with caution. As in the diagram the generator should be sited outside and consider that generators are heavy so wheels (about £70 extra) may be appropriate depending on your circumstances. Also consider the noise if you are close to neighbours. As they shiver in the cold they may take exception to a noisy generator next door! If you have a generator already a manual switch is around £250 plus installation.

The alternative is an automatic switched system which requires an electric start generator with remote sensing input. The switch will recognise the power outage and send a signal to the generator which will start up and in a few seconds take over the load. When the power comes back it will simply switch back to the main supply and in about thirty seconds the generator will turn off. The cost of this luxury is about £1800 plus installation. There may be an added cost of an exhaust pipe for the generator if it is sited in an outbuilding or garage. The added advantage is that this model is 5.3kw so will cook the Christmas Turkey! This system also comes with AVR(automatic voltage regulation) which removes spikes in the power supply which could damage sensitive electronic equipment such as computers. However you can get surge protection extension cables for computers reasonably cheaply if you prefer the more economical option. Another alternative is to go for a larger 4.95kv Manual switch system with AVR for £1154 incl vat. Good automatic systems include a trickle charger for the generator battery which protects against the possibility of the embarrassment of a failure of the system. The neighbours will notice quicker than even you!!

A useful web site is http://generators.co.uk or http://mainsfailure.com. I have no contact with either site and many more are available through Google.

Go on, splash out and really upset your neighbours as they freeze in front of one candle on the coldest night of the year.


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Wind Farm overload!

Apologies if the Blog has been on the dark side for a few days. We really have descended into overload. Just when the mitigation work on the ‘Beauly Buzz’ was moving to completion, undergrounding is underground and fields turning green and we were hoping for some peace, all hell broke loose again. Work on the SVC is yet to be completed so we don’t yet know if it will be successful. At the moment it is perfect peace with the equipment out of service whilst the new barriers are erected. SSE have now dropped a bombshell. The Beauly-Loch Buidhe(Shin) line is to be doubled in capacity with larger towersand two massive new substations at Bonar Bridge and Alness and the Beauly to Blackhillock line is to become another 400KV Beauly-Denny size line with massive towers. An MSCDN is to be built within the Wester Balblair substation to balance the SVC, which is there to balance the wind energy, and also more new equipment, Quadrature Boosters are to be installed. Needless to say the paths that were to improve safety on the approach roads have still not been constructed and are now promised for a start in January, a great time of the year for groundworks! Beauly-Western Isles has again raised it’s ugly head and the remaining Beauly-Deaney line is to be re-engineered. This is all to support resilience in the structure to support the wind farms. We were told if the subsidy died, this would all die with it. Just when the possibility of peace descending on this beautiful area, it is to be rent again with uncontrolled development. The MSCDN (Mechanically Switched Capacitor with Damping Network) is to be installed under permitted development. So no chance for the planners to put any controls on it!


To hammer a nail in the coffin, Force 9 Energy have now announced plans for a seventeen turbine wind farm for EDF not six miles away, the Scottish Reporter overturned the refusal for a met mast at Kilmorack-Erchless(so much for democracy) and the decision on Bein Mhor has again been deferred as the applicants have failed to provide answers to questions. When will this ever stop?  

The joke in all this is that we are also faced with the Community Empowerment Bill at a time when Communities feel less empowered than at any time in the past. For local people and community councils, who are not remunerated, this really does feel like a bad joke! After all we are up against highly paid and resourced companies who are determined to destroy all we hold dear! The hours that have to be given over to these issues are immense and when all said and done, the day job still has to be done to put bread on the table!

As one local put it succinctly, “I’ll be DEAD before this lot is completed”. We know that the time scale goes beyond 2024!!!

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One wheel on our Wagon

Dougal Quixote:

Many a true thing said in jest!!!

Originally posted on fenbeagleblog:

Gone West

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Should Communities be subjected to HELL with no redress?


We hear that after three years Streetwood Wind Farm in South Norfolk has finally been refused. See the details here. What has not been addressed is the cost and stress to the Community and how that should be recompensed. We hear regularly of the Community Benefit (BRIBES) that developers promise but nothing to compensate the planning blight, cost and stress of THREE YEARS fighting these wind farms. The fact it has eventually been kicked into touch suggests that it was not an appropriate development and not in an appropriate area. When are developers going to be made to pay? 

Can we suggest that all developers must place a pre application bond of £50k per turbine which in the case of approval can be directed to final decommissioning and in the case of a refusal should be paid to the Community to cover costs and stress caused. I think against the expected profits it is but a drop in the ocean but for those effected by applications, especially repeat applications for the same or similar site, it would make life more amenable. I think it would has guard against speculative applications.

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The Fight to Save Stronelairg and the Monadliaths

Whilst we disassociate ourselves from Stuart Brooks comments which follow a line much disproved now. It is an old policy of JMT and has not been updated with current understanding. However JMT covers a broad church, many of whom are urban dwellers, and it is a fact that such organisations have to tread a thin line between political correctness and reality.

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Group are awarded costs over wind farm withdrawal


“THE Dales Gateway Group, which opposed the construction of three 132-metre high turbines at Killington Lake, has been awarded costs of £9,542 after developers Bank Renewables “suddenly and unexpectedly” withdrew its planning application before a public inquiry was to be held on September 23.

The group made a claim to The Planning Inspectorate for what it considered unreasonable behaviour. The Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government informed the group on Friday that the award of costs had been approved.”

Interesting precedent which could lead to more claims against developers.

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Turbines in Schools

Well we have discussed this previously but I doubt that the councillors will learn from the mistakes. Turbines in schools are not safe!

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Terry the Turbine – a Kentish Ballad

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CO² is NOT a posion

carbon dioxideThe Myth of Carbon Pollution

On October 15, 2014, Dr. William Happer, Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, will discuss “The Myth of Carbon Pollution.”

“Carbon pollution” is a propaganda slogan for the campaign against carbon dioxide (CO2). It is not science. Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant but is essential for plant growth. Current CO2 levels are far below optimum for most plants, and far below norms of
geological history, when CO2 concentrations averaged several times higher than present values. A substantial fraction, about 15%, of current world food production is due to the higher levels of CO2 compared to preindustrial values. Contrary to unambiguous computer
predictions, there has been no statistically significant surface warming in at least 15 years. It is now clear that the warming potential of CO2 has been exaggerated by a large amount, and it is unlikely to be much more than 1oC for doubling of CO2. There is not the slightest evidence that more CO2 has caused more extreme weather or accelerated sea level rise. Nor is there the slightest support for the notion that government control of CO2 will “stop climate change.” Many real environmental issues need attention, smog, waste disposal, short-sighted suburban development, adequate clean water, public health, etc. These are being overshadowed by the phony issue of “carbon pollution.”

Dr. William Happer is Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, a long-term member of the JASON advisory group, and former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. In addition to being a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt award, the Herbert P. Broida Prize and the Thomas Alva Edison patent award.

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Wisconsin: County Board of Health Declares Shirley Wind Farm a Health Hazard!!!

Dougal Quixote:

The tide is turning and how long before we see adverts on the TV from no win/no fee solicitors suing the wind industry. Funny thing is many wind farms are technically small stand alone companies with no assets so the land owner is they one who is going to end up as a correspondent and losing his shirt!

Originally posted on Quixotes Last Stand:

Edgar County Watchdog — October 14, 2014


Tonight, October 14, 2014, the Brown County Board of Health voted to declare the Shirley Wind [Farm] a Human Health Hazard. The decision was based on a report of a year-long study conducted by the Enz family with some help from an Illinois resident to document infrasound in homes within a radius of 6 miles of the Shirley Wind turbines.

The vote to declare it a Human Health Hazard puts Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind utility on the defensive to prove to the Board they are not the cause of the health complaints documented in the study and could result in a shut down order.

It is time for Illinois county health departments to start receiving complaints lodged based on wind turbines since a Wisconsin health department declared wind turbines as a health hazard and caused so many problems…

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Royal Scottish Geographical Society – Scotland’s renewable energy transition – Quo Vadis?

A view of Scotland’s Renewable Energy ambitions by Prof Paul Younger FREngg is interesting and worthy of consideration. Read the article through this link


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Scotland Approves more Offshore Wind

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Linda Holt, spokesperson for Scotland Against Spin​,​called the news ​ that four offshore wind farms off the Scottish east coast had been consented today​ “another flight of fantasy from the Scottish Government” and said its offshore wind policy has been “a spectacular non-starter”

“The key to offshore wind development in Scotland is not consent but investment, and these proposals stand little chance of attracting investors. They total 2.284 MW but the total current subsidy pot for all UK renewable proposals will only support 800MW. It is inconceivable that these proposals will see off all the competition for subsidy from other renewable technologies or more cost-effective offshore projects down south.

“Even if one of these projects wins the subsidy jackpot, it is no guarantee private investment will follow because the wind industry reckons the current strike price of £140 is too low.

“Because Scottish offshore wind farms have to grapple with deeper waters, harsher weather and much greater transmission distances than their English and Welsh equivalents, they are uneconomic. This is why England and Wales have nigh on 20 operational offshore wind farms while Scotland’s offshore plans are more than 8 years behind schedule.

“The precise impact of offshore wind on marine and birdlife is unknown, but there is enough expert testimony to show that certain species will be decimated and marine ecology turned upside down. It is laughable to imagine that the Scottish Government can protect the integrity of the marine environment by means of “planning conditions”, given the proposed scale of development.

“The Scottish Government is once again playing politics with energy policy by setting a Scottish offshore wind industry (which barely exists) against a UK-supported nuclear industry. The truth is that offshore wind in Scotland is a fantasy while it will be nuclear power that keeps Scottish lights on in decades to come. The last thing Scotland needs is more environmentally destructive turbines producing over-priced, intermittent electricity for export to England.”

PLEASE SEE ATTACHED FROM ROBERT TRYTHALL, leader of successful No Tiree Array campaign
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Health Issues, what Health Issues

vibro-acousticWell that is what the Wind Industry and their champions at the DECC and the Scottish Government will say. There has been a great raft of peer reviewed studies of health issues which have to date been ignored. However as we saw in Australia and are seeing in the US with class actions against wind developments, there is a mood for reality.

The Royal Society of Medicine has just produced this report: Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the environs of wind turbines which is worth consideration.

In an effort to address climate change, governments have
pursued policies that seek to reduce greenhouse gases.
Alternative energy, including wind power, has been proposed
by some as the preferred approach. Few would
debate the need to reduce air pollution, but the means
of achieving this reduction is important not only for efficiency
but also for health protection. The topic of adverse
health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines
(AHE/IWT) has proven to be controversial and can present
physicians with challenges regarding the management of an
exposure to IWT. Rural physicians in particular must be
aware of the possibility of people presenting to their practices
with a variety of sometimes confusing complaints.
An earlier version of the diagnostic criteria for AHE/IWT
was published in August 2011. A revised case definition and
a model for a study to establish a confirmed diagnosis is

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