‘Wild’ Scotland

by backpackingbongos

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35 Comments to “‘Wild’ Scotland”

  1. It seems to me that man is destroying wild places wherever they may be. When will we move from selfishness to respect for the environment. As hunter gatherers we understood, but now we only see control as the solution.

    • The wildlife count was pretty low in the three days I was wandering the hills Roger. One hare, two buzzards and a handful of grouse.

  2. Dogs in wild places should be banned! (just joking) No doubt the wind company is still paid for its lack of movement. I saw a similar situation near Carmarthen yesterday.

    The trapped bird………

    • I had to cover Reubens eyes so he could not read that! Thankfully the turbines were turning (one was a bit lethargic though). Stood right underneath this one, it was bloody enormous close up. Bit overwhelming really.

  3. Looks like a stoat. Turbines and traps: Southern Uplands?

    • I stood on the summit of Culter hill last Friday, all 152 turbines from the Clyde windfarm to the south, the scale was mindblowing.

  4. Hate those sort of traps unfortunately some very narrow minded game keepers still use them.

  5. It never ceases to amaze me what people can do to animals.

  6. Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  7. Grim. Especially the second picture.

  8. Urban environmentalists: discuss.

    • As in environmentalists are defined simply due to the geography of where their house is? As in if you live in the countryside you are an environmental guru and if located in the city clueless?

      • Apologies for the cryptic comment. I should say I live in a city and wasn’t having ago a urban people.

        What I mean though is that a lot of well-meaning people who would say they’re concerned about the environment but aren’t necessarily into the outdoors, and who may e.g. support FoE and Greenpeace and vote Green, support building wind farms. They don’t know how wind farms damage the environment, what building a wind farm entails, or how the subsidies work (lining the pockets of landowners who enable the sort of stuff in the second picture). It’s just clean, green energy to them.

        Most polls show support for wind farms but do people have access to the full facts? You have to be a bit obsessive to find out about the downsides and how the subsidies work as it’s not covered in the mainstream (and then you risk turning into a pub bore). The two pictures above really join the dots and show that all isn’t as it seems regarding green energy.

      • Ha, I got the wrong end of the stick there! I have been known to be a pub bore with regards to wind farms……………..

  9. I wonder how many summits are left where, with reasonable visibility, you can’t see a wind farm somewhere on the horizon. I was looking a few of my photos and it’s amazing how they creep into almost every view 😦

    • Very few to be honest, even from most of the National Parks they are visible on the horizon. Even from the east coast of Jura there are loads on the mainland that are visible.

  10. Ha! Over 4,000 of them in my backyard. The PCT goes right through this mess. Here is a link to some pictures and disturbing facts. http://popupbackpacker.com/green-greed/

  11. I may well be one of the few people on here that does not have a major problem with Grouse shooting. I do however have a problem with the killing of any Grouse predators such as stoat and birds of prey.

    Having spoken to several gamekeepers and others involved with it, I do “at the moment” think it may well be the lesser of many evils. I cannot stand people who kill animals for fun, yet recognise that without grouse shooting these moors could well be worse off. Some estates will make every attempt to industrialise these moors with wind turbines if grouse shooting disappears. It’s not black and white unfortunately, but then again neither is farming, or for that matter nature conservation.

    I am certainly not sticking up for those who kill animals for enjoyment or, those managing the moors, but some of the choices discussed are, people paying more for access like in the Lake District via extortionate parking charges, along with much greater numbers of wind turbines. In some areas fracking, quarrying and new mines such as the one being discussed inside the AONB near Nenthead are all on the cards.

    The pressure on such places is going to increase as long as we continue to consume and grow as a population – a depressing thought.

    • Thanks for your measured comment David. You may have noticed that I did not put any words to the two photos that I knew people would find provocative. I did that on purpose just to gauge reaction.

      What strikes me whenever I visit the Southern Uplands is the sheer number of traps (both for mammals and birds) that you see on some of the moors. Not exactly sporting in my eyes. I have heard the arguement that it helps conserve other ground nesting birds as well as protecting grouse nests. Yet go to say parts of the Peak District and the place is alive with ground nesting birdlife. They appear to manage very well without trapping there.

      As for population growth I wish that we could all wake up tomorrow and find the whole population of the world has gone infertile. We really do need to stop breeding or we are doomed.

      As for the turbines, they will continue marching across the hill tops whilst they are heavily subsidised.

      • I don’t think we are far apart in our thinking James. Just to add it bit more on the grouse situation in my area. I have spoken to people involved in the management of grouse moors which over the years includes both gamekeepers and conservationists and there does seem to be a greater shift from managing moors purely for shooting interests to a more conservation based management. Basically if conservation pays some will go down that route so it’s not all doom and gloom on that front. Like many things it will take time and understanding on both sides I suppose.

      • Population growth isn’t the biggest problem, it’s too much consumption and inequality because the system’s all about endless economic growth.

        Stopping ‘breeding’ and making people infertile (eugenics) to control the population, rather than addressing inequality and over-consumption, would suit the psychopaths in charge perfectly.

      • My stopping breeding and everyone becoming infertile was a bit tongue in cheek Stef. There are already dodgy practices where poor people are paid / forced to be sterilised (India for example). I do still think that there are simply far too many people on the planet and the worlds population will continue to grow and grow.

    • Very true, I agree we are over-populated. I’m sure when you share the wealth around better and give people choices e.g. education for women, access to contraception (not the forced variety) then population growth slows. We need some young’uns around to look after us in our dotage (ranting about wind farms in a care home)!

  12. There is no safe distance for wind Turbines, NOT GREEN, NOT CHEAP, NOT RELIABLE, and come with a very BAD EFFECT side to People and the ENVIRONMENT. there is Nothing about TURBINES GREEN. SAY NO TO WIND TURBINES.

  13. Interesting stuff!

    Whilst it is maybe at a tangent to the OP, the matter of population growth is always the elephant in the room. No long term solution to feeding, watering, space or supplying energy to the population ever looks to tackle that issue (accepting, of course, it is a difficult fix and an emotive issue). So the focus is always about having or providing enough of everything (consumerism) to go round, with enough of a minor nod made to conservation to keep the less environmentally committed members of the public appeased.

    Take the UK, for example. By 2050 the population is expected to hit about 75 million. That’s 20% up on today’s 63 million. So 20% more housing, schools, roads, hospitals, energy, food, water, sewerage, etc, etc, etc, required to support them.

    Where will it all go? And what will the UK look like when we get there? We are a small and finite island, and overcrowding and resource poverty are the realities that our children and our children’s children will face. Touching on another of my soapbox issues: this is why HS2 is such a useless idea. By the time it is built (at a cost of £several tens-of-billions) we will simply not be able to run an economy or social infrastructure that requires large amounts of people or goods to be moved regularly. Local infrastructure and cyberspace will have to predominate as there will simply be insufficient room to do anything else!

    • Hi Jules,

      The thing about consumerism is that it’s not about supplying enough of everything. It’s become disconnected from actual necessities. Instead it’s become an end in itself with lots of spurious ‘needs’ created via the dark arts of advertising so we all end up buying much more cr@p than we ever need (backpacking gear included!). The results as we know are lots of waste, debt and unhappiness.

      I do agree that overpopulation is a big issue but we firstly need to look at waste and over-consumption and inequality which should be the priority so that the people alive now can have decent lives without the same level of environmental degradation. Reducing the population is a longer-term thing to aim for by giving people (especially women) more education and choices in life. The present situation seems to be about maintaining the crazy levels of consumption.

      A good example of this is the government’s energy policy – ploughing masses of subsidies into renewables/wind via the energy bills of hard-up consumers (creating a fake ‘market’ supported by us mugs) whilst ditching the schemes that provided free and subsidised home energy efficiency measures and replacing it with the Green Deal where you basically get a loan for these measures which you pay back through your energy bills. It’s completely @rse-about-t1t. Demand for the Green Deal has been puny compared to the amount of work carried out under the previous schemes (more loans – just what we need!), so we’re basically failing to tackle demand for energy.

      Agree re. HS2. I’ve lived down in the deepest south for a number of years. I’m always amazed by how much natural beauty there is still to be found here and we need to preserve it as a resource for the millions that live here. It’s not worth sacrificing for 20 minutes off the journey time to Birmingham.

      All the best,
      Stef

  14. Hi Stef

    As this is James’ blog, I don’t want to hog space or go into lengthy replies. But basically, I agree with all you said. I was trying, in limited space, to focus on one little part of the whole situation to make a particular point, and one which was a bit away from the OP. 🙂

    So the issues, wastage and inequalities you mention certainly all need tackling. But then we have this increasing burden year-on-year that means we the Nation’s consumption is growing faster than it’s efficiencies and energy saving, so we are probably slipping backwards in real terms. Which means, of course, unless we set in place methods of reducing consumption that take this into account, we will ever be falling behind. And, if we are failing now (as seems to be the case) that makes it harder again to play catch up.

    And I certainly agree with you about the Government’s energy policy – or rather lack of policy! 🙂

    It’s fascinating (and scary) stuff, and I’d love the debate to expand. But it’s probably a bit rude to take up so much space on someone else’s blog!

    Cheers
    All the best

    Jules

  15. Good natured discussion is always welcomed!

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