CREDIT is due to East Ayrshire Council for taking legal action against Community Windpower for failing to meet the planning conditions imposed on its Sneddon Law wind farm (“Judges halt work on wind farm over water pollution complaints”, The Herald, December 17). The same council has also recently issued an abatement notice on an unauthorised noisy wind turbine.

Investigating complaints is resource intensive for a council and if obliged to take action against the wrongdoer it is exposed to the risk of proceedings by an appellant who in many cases is far better placed and resourced to argue the case. This leads to dithering by the Council and prolonged suffering for the complainant. Such is the case in the neighbouring local authority of East Renfrewshire where it has taken the Council three years to investigate complaints of excessive noise from wind turbines in the Uplawmoor area. Monitoring has now established that that noise limits are being exceeded by a whopping nine decibels.

East Ayrshire Council has put its citizens’ health and wellbeing first and deserves praise for its efforts. May more local authorities follow their lead.

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Aileen Jackson,

Knockglass,

Uplawmoor,

East Renfrewshire.

SEVERAL years ago I wrote to the gamekeeper associations and warned them that their members were going to get the blame for raptor deaths by wind turbines. My concerns were dismissed then. Not so now.

The shoddy monitoring of turbines by the wind industry is truly pathetic. Anyone with any sense would know that all birds that are struck will not all fall within 50m of the towers. If injured they will crawl into undergrowth to die, never to be found or be removed by the predators that have learned turbines mean easy fast food as photographed fox tracks around turbine bases show. The only way to get a true picture is to have the turbines independently monitored 24/7.

I have heard it said that grouse thrive under wind farms on shooting estates because the turbines wipe out many of the raptors that feed on them. It is not in the interests of the wind industry or Scottish Government to let the public know how many thousands of birds and bats their turbines are killing. The public will not like it and may well demand the slaughter ceases and that would mean no more turbines because it is impossible to stop. It is happening all over the world and birds and bats are dying in their millions with whole eco-systems under threat. It will be happening in Scotland despite the denials and lack of data. If you don’t monitor competently you will not get the data that’s there to be found.

I was also told by a wind developer at a public consultation that birds “learn” to miss the blades. When the tips are travelling at up to 200 mph? A ludicrous comment by any standards.

Wind farm maps are not now readily available from Scottish Natural Heritage or the Scottish Government. I would suggest that an overlay of an operational wind farm map and a map that shows areas where protected raptors are in decline would show some very eerie similarities.

From our home we have noticed a marked decline in the amount of red kites we see since Fairburn wind farm became operational. A coincidence? We don’t believe so.

Lyndsey Ward,

Darach Brae,

Beauly,

Inverness-shire.

THE recent enthusiasm for North East 250, the proposed tourist route connecting towns and villages in Deeside and Moray, may be somewhat misplaced. Your editorial (“Driving to the heart of the best that Scotland has to offer”, The Herald, November 9) hints at this, noting that “there may be infrastructure problems” in promoting the delights of “whisky, castles, coastal villages, deer and mountains”. It is noticeable that those behind this tourism initiative appear to have ignored one major feature – the rivers. Surely the Rivers Dee and Spey are worthy of a mention, are they not key attractions which support Scotland’s claim to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world?

Sadly the answer is simple – for the motorised visitor trying to follow the North East 250 there will be limited opportunities to stop and relax beside the Dee and the Spey. This is because oo many estates along the route apparently prefer public access to the water to be limited to those who can afford to fish for salmon.

On my last visit to Ballindalloch my destination was not the castle but a nearby picnic spot close by the road and river, a place where locals and visitors had for generations been able to enjoy a roadside facility immediately adjacent to the river bank.

Access is no longer possible at this favourite location – a high deer fence and new tree planting had, it would appear, been strategically placed along the roadside to prevent any opportunity for access to the river bank.

Quite why Forestry Commission Scotland, in approving this planting, had allowed the estate to get away with such a blatant breach of the access rights secured by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, remains a mystery.

Good luck to those trying to promote North East 250 – you

will need it when you are trying

to persuade the Dee and Spey estates and their friends in the government agencies to co-operate in providing the essential infrastructure.

Dave Morris,

2 Bishop Terrace,

Kinnesswood,

Kinross.