WWT is delighted by the Scottish government’s decision to veto plans for the controversial Lewis wind farm in the Outer Hebrides.
The Scottish energy minister, Jim Mather, said this week that the 181-turbine project, which would have dominated the moors of northern Lewis, would have had “significant adverse impacts” on rare and endangered birds living on the peatlands, which was a breach of European habitats legislation.
WWT expressed concern about the effects of siting a windfarm directly on the migration route of important species such as Whooper swans, Brent geese and Greenland white-fronted geese, throughout the planning stages of the proposal by Lewis Wind Power (a joint venture by Amec and British Energy).
This fact was illustrated last autumn when one of WWT’s satellite tracked ‘Super Whooper’ swans flew straight through the proposed site on its migration from Iceland to Scotland, touching down on the Isle of Lewis.
Dr Eileen Rees, WWT’s Head of UK Waterbird Conservation, said: “Whilst we support renewable energy, WWT believes that wind turbines should not be sited in locations where they may have a significant effect upon wetland birds or wetland sites.
“Developers and conservationists need to work together to determine the routes taken by migratory waterfowl and ensure that wind farm are not built along their major migration routes.”