THE AUTHOR of TV series Outlander has called on Scotland's national tourism body to intervene to help the fight against plans for 24, 400ft high wind turbines in the landscape where the series is filmed.

Diana Gabaldon warned it would be "insane" to damage tourism if the project were to go ahead near Loch Rannoch and called on VisitScotland to get involved in a campaign which has already raised 1,000 objections.

The government-backed tourism body's website names nearby Rannoch Moor, where Outlander is shot, as an "idyllically-located land that is dotted with innumerable lochs, streams, rivers and rocky outcrops, and surrounded by breathtaking Munros." It continued: "Wander through this wilderness and be at one with nature."

Ms Gabaldon described the Talladh a Bheithe scheme "insane" adding that the plans if approved would lead to around seven of access tracks, buildings and infrastructure, across an area designated wild land between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht if approved.

The US-based author's opposition to the wind farm proposal comes not just from her love of the landscape, but also from the expertise she gathered as an ecologist.

She said: "One of the most gratifying things about the TV show is that we were able to film it in Scotland, and that the staggering natural beauty of Scotland is as much a character as are any of the actors.

"I've heard from hundreds of fans that seeing the show has convinced them that they must go to Scotland, and from hundreds more who have already come to experience it for themselves.

"Frankly, given the undoubted economic value of tourism to Scotland, it seems insane to sacrifice one of its most scenic landscapes for the sake of an electrical pittance."

Nearly 1,000 formal objections have been made to the wind farm proposals, which are due to be considered by Perth and Kinross Council in the near future.

David Gibson, Mountaineering Council of Scotland Chief Officer, said: "The visitor appeal of Rannoch Moor will be ruined if this industrial-scale wind farm goes ahead, VisitScotland must speak out.

"It is bizarre that VisitScotland and the Scottish Government keep calling for tourists to enjoy our wild and unspoilt lands while policies are pursued that could turn them into industrial sites.

"We are calling on the Scottish Government to completely rule out large scale wind farms in the wild and natural areas which are essential to Scottish tourism.

"That means new planning controls which clearly prohibit such developments in all wild land areas, not just national parks and national scenic areas.

"It is brilliant that Outlander is having such a valuable effect on tourism and shows that we should be using our wild lands and mountain spaces to develop sustainable tourism, not as a source of vast profits for multi-national power companies and big land owners."

Politicians from several parties have previously backed a motion in the Scottish Parliament to oppose the Talladh a Bheithe proposals being made by Netherlands-based developer, Eventus BV.

The development would affect views from more than 30 Munros and Corbetts, including Schiehallion, the Ben Alder massif, mountains above Glen Lyon, the Drumochter Hills and Buachaille Etive Mor.

The turbines would also be visible from the iconic West Highland Railway line and the A82, the main tourist route through the West Highlands.

Over 20 million of the Outlander book have been sold and the TV series is spreading globally.

The story is based on 20th century nurse Claire Randall, who time travels to the 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with warrior Jamie Fraser.

A VisitScotland spokersman "Wind farms and other renewable energy projects are a part of the landscape in nearly every destination in the world. "As with any development which could impact on the natural landscape, such projects should be sensitive to their surroundings and involve a full consultation with all interested parties.

"The vast majority of potential visitors would not be discouraged from visiting Scotland on account of wind farm developments."

Talladh-a-Bheithe Wind Farm Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch company Eventus BV, has previously said the proposals were developed through an extensive consultation process after going through the appropriate community and statutory feedback processes, and its technical team had developed a 'carefully balanced project' that would "minimise views of the turbines from key areas around Loch Rannoch."