Archive for October 3rd, 2011

October 3, 2011

Exploring what may be lost

by backpackingbongos

Our homes, our land, no choice.

That was a sign that caught my eye as I drove the main road between Welshpool and Newtown.  My backpacking plans sometimes don’t pan out.  Last weekend I should have been backpacking the Crianlarich seven, a rollercoaster route over some mighty fine hills in the Southern Highlands.  The route that I had planned is complex and good weather is essential to enjoy it to its fullest.  Unfortunately towards the end of last week it became apparent that Scotland was not going to deliver the goods over the weekend.  A hasty redrafting of a backpacking route instead saw me heading to Mid-Wales on Friday during an unseasonable hot spell.

I was heading towards a small slice of backpacking heaven, the hills and lakes sandwiched between the lovely town of Machynlleth and the mighty fine hill of Pumlumon.  This wonderful part of Mid-Wales is now firmly in the sight of the developers who want to turn it into a giant power station.  I wanted to get the opportunity to enjoy it before it may be lost forever.  I wrote about this area back in March and what it means to me in Hyddgen – desecrating the sacred?

Anyway, back on the road between Welshpool and Newtown.  During the entire stretch there were banners and placards every few metres including the one above, the strength of feeling against the TAN8 proposals in this fine area looking very high.  I was simply a dismayed visitor for a few days, there are countless numbers of people who will have to live, day in day out with what may be coming their way.  And what is coming their way?  Well in a nutshell there are plans for 800 turbines, giant pylons to carry the electricity generated and a 20 acre electricity substation near Abermule.

Turbines give you pylons.

Another one of the protest signs.

I spent a wonderful three days backpacking the hills, lakes and forests surrounding the Nant-y-Moch reservoir.  A place of peace and tranquility almost designed with the misanthropic backpacker in mind.  It was a poignant journey with the knowledge that in a few short years the area may be blanketed with 64 turbines up to 481 feet high.  The scenery was outstanding which is impossible to accurately convey with this photograph.

It was taken on the way to the summit of Moel y Llyn, looking back towards Pumlumon on the horizon.  Turbines will blanket these hills, full details on the map below.

Although my three days on the hills was spent amongst some spectacular wild scenery, there was always the presence of turbines on the near or far horizons.  The most prominent of these being the 56 turbines at Carno.  Waking at dawn on the summit of the 565 metre Foel Uchaf, I looked east and thought ‘blimey they are massive’.  They were 7 miles as far as the crow flies from my camp.  I have just looked up that wind farm on the internet, their height is 176 feet.  This is substantially less than the proposed turbine height of 481 feet for Nant-y-Moch.

Anyway I better stop banging on about this depressing subject.  In due course I will do a full trip report, concentrating of the wild beauty of the area and the two magnificent summit camps with my dog Reuben.

In the meantime, if you have not already signed these two petitions………………

Now, would it be worth the risk putting links to these on Outdoors magic?

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