Friday, 22 April 2011

Fighting talk

For almost as long as I have been writing this blog, I have talked about the little village in the hills in which we made our home and how much it means to me.

This area is of negligible economic significance.
There is a small amount of light industry down in the Severn valley. Once you rise into the upland areas there are sheep and very little else.

Apart from wind.
There is certainly no shortage of that.
As a result, there have been wind farms springing up on the hills all around the area. There is one that I can see out of my office window, up on Mynydd Clogau, on land owned by my friend Angie and her husband. I remember the day that the turbine blades were fitted, seemingly all at once, and in that instant the view from my window changed forever.

That feeling of shock took me by surprise as I had always previously been in favour of wind power as a source of alternative energy. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to seeing them, and although a jarring sight, they are now familiar friends.

But the battle to have that wind farm erected nearly tore this village apart. When we moved here, it was a topic that was generally best avoided as there was still an undercurrent of bad feeling on both sides of the argument. And as the Welsh Assembly Government has earmarked this as a strategic area for alternative power generation, permission has been granted for several more wind farms, each bigger than the last.

Early in the New Year, we all received a large envelope through the post from the National Grid. The contents outlined in very vague terms their plans to build a substation for the wind farms to feed into, three incoming 132 kV power lines and a main 400 kV outgoing line to feed into the grid.

The two suggested locations for this 20-acre substation site and the 160 foot high pylons needed for the 400 kV line are either just outside my own little no-horse village or about a mile from the place that R is buried. The thought of either of these beautiful places being desecrated in this way just breaks my heart.

For the last few weeks there has been talk about little else around here, and the rounds of public meetings, collecting signatures, writing letters, etc. have started.
It is a long time since I have done any political agitating. We moved here for a quiet life and to leave the 'dirty' aspects of the world behind. But it appears that the world has followed me with its clumsy boots and greedy ways. There aren't really enough hours in the day already, but I think this is one fight worth making time for.


  1. i absolutely agree with you. all your photos show a beautiful landscape, and to mar it with pylons and a mess of lines, is, as you put it best, a desecration. i wish you well with this battle. i wish you peace.

  2. can you imagine 200yrs from now? From Uncle Tom's kitchen in Hest Bank(Morecambe) you can see over to part of the Lune huge windmill and a hideous antennae that was shaped to look like a tree and doesn't....fight a good fight, dear Friend
    coffeee Sue

  3. Oh J, that's tough. We do need alternative energy but but but .... Do what needs to be done dear girl. More power to you -- no pun intended.

  4. why oh why can't they erect these in places that are already ugly. Or am I, as usual, looking at the world through my child-like eyes? Sorry to hear this J xxx

  5. The first time I saw a wind farm while traveling through western Oregon, I thought it was actually sort of interesting and even beautiful. The turbines were set up in a very sparsely populated area where there are mainly thousands of acres of wheat fields. My next trip west - about 3 years later - wind farms were now cropping up all over the place. Some places seemed okay - for example, an area of Saskatchewan (also very sparsely populated) where the turbines shared the same property with ranging beef cattle and oil wells (multi-use). However, it really bothered me to see that there were now hordes of the things along the tops of ridges going up into Crowsnest Pass near the Alberta - British Columbia border, and also along the Columbia Gorge on the state line between Washington and Oregon. I feel there needs to be more thought put into location - such as where the migratory bird routes are -- and also places where the wind farms and their associated power transfer lines, etc.. defile the landscape. The same is now happening with solar fields in California - another technology that seems okay when done right (put the panels on huge factory roofs) and an abomination when done wrong (bulldoze thousands of acres of the Mojave desert to build mega fields because "it's just the desert". grrrh!!
    Good luck with your battle, J. I hope some alternative can be found.

  6. J - I just dropped by to say 'hi'. i am imagining you busy in your gardens. That's what I am doing too. My elderly next door neighbours gave me some space in their vegetable garden this summer, so I planted some vegetables in my own and their garden as well. It is a nice arrangement as I enjoy helping them. this morning, I rototilled their garden. How is the battle against the wind farm going?

  7. J, I am trying to contact you. email if you can.

  8. checking on you - you've been in my thoughts lately.

  9. Hi J, just wanted to let you know that you will be in my thoughts over the next few days. I cannot believe it's been three years - and I really hope you are alright, perhaps you have R's sister over to raise a glass with you?

    Lots of love
    Boo xxx

  10. Hi J,
    Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking of you and wondering how you are. I've actually stopped writing my blog and have closed it down. It was time to move on from being Sudden Widow. But if you're on Facebook and would like to stay in touch, I'm DebbieHollandThomas on FB. Hope all is ok in your world. Debbie

  11. Hallo J...just missing you and hoping that you are

  12. Hi J,

    I hope you are reading blog comments. I have snail mailed you, you should receive my note later in the coming week. I would love to hear from you.

  13. Anonymous04:16

    Have any of Judith's friends here had any contact with her since she wrote this last post...we are very concerned,
    Thank you
    Sue Caissy