The photo shows the site where SPR plan to put 23 giant turbines: in front, the Doonans, behind, Trostan Hill, Big Hill of the Baing, and snow-covered in the distance is Cairnsmore of Carsphairn. This beautiful hill country is on the borders of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, and the turbines would be close to and clearly visible from the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory and many places in the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park: both of them irreplaceable assets not just to Scotland but to the UK and Europe.
The problem is that for many of us we see this as restful, iconic and irreplaceable. For many who live in cities and live with noise, concrete and traffic it simply looks like an empty building site. Their appreciation of space is the local ‘Rec’. A small park bordered by houses, retail parks and factories. Every piece of grass manicured to perfection as a football pitch and hemmed in by tarmac paths and ‘elf and safety approved play areas. What we would deem a sterile environment. WE see land teeming with wild life if you stop and watch. An urbanite rushes passed in their car or train and sees nothing. For that they are the loser. We know that time taken will present you with hen harrier, merlin, kite, roebuck and red deer. Sloe worm and vole beneath your feet and a million years captured in the peat hags. Do you prefer that to a Starbucks or Macdonalds. Because our detractors don’t. Therein lies the rub. The urban masses worry about their i-pads and smart phones, their holidays to far away places and their plasma screen TVs. They believe ‘the talk’ that to maintain those luxuries we need every hill covered with wind farms and they applaud that. They see the paths carved into the mountain not as an intrusion but as improved access and cannot understand why we prefer to walk through bog and burn and follow deer tracks to get to the wild places. There is a disconnect between urban and rural that will never be joined. Therefore we must fight to retain our wild lands, our special places. No one else is going to do it for us!