The fall of Assynt – Caplich Wind farm

by backpackingbongos

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Montage of the proposed Caplich Wind Farm

For some reason I have always liked my hill country to be understated and underrated. I do really like the spectacular stuff, the main problem being that everyone else does as well. I’m much happier to be alone in a vast bog where if the worst ever happened my remains will feature in an archeology programme in 2356. ‘What an earth was he wearing?’, the presenter will say whilst sniggering into his beard. Fashions may change but there will always be beards.

For lovers of solitude, vast moors and mountains with character I suggest that you head to the far north of Scotland. Much of this is ‘wild’ land with little sign of the influence of man (and yes I am aware that this area was well populated before the clearances). Settlements are few and far between. It’s a place to go and stand in awe that such places exist on such a small and crowded island. It’s also a place to go and escape the steady industrialisation of the Scottish hills. There are some big wind farms in the far north (especially in Caithness) but so far they have been on the periphery and towards the east coast. You can still turn your back and gaze towards the glorious west.

A few years ago I did a week long coast to coast from Evanton to Ullapool during some glorious spring weather. The highlight of this was standing on the summit of Seana Bhraigh, one of the remotest mainland Munros. It really was one of those ‘wow’ moments. The view to the north and west translated to an olde worlde map would have had the words ‘Here there be dragons’, written on it.

The mountains look like the backs of dinosaurs have broken the surface of the earth, small but individual peaks that have bags of character. There is one giant that rises above them all, Ben More Assynt being one of the few Munros of the far north. There is no landscape on earth that is similar to this.

There is now the real possibility that in a few years when standing on Ben More Assynt that the view will be dominated by 20 turbines, each 132 metres high. In old money that is 434 feet, amongst the largest ever to be built onshore. It will no longer be the periphery of this stunning area that will be in industrialised. They will be slap bang in the middle.

In my mind the Cape Wrath Trail has been the long distance path to walk if you want to see the wildest parts of the Highlands. This proposal would be your companion for many miles as you head towards and away from Oykel Bridge. The skyline bristling with huge moving towers only three metres lower than the London Eye.

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Map showing position of the proposed Caplich wind farm. The machines are slowly spreading towards the glorious Assynt hills.

The environmental statement is here.

The west is falling.


22 Responses to “The fall of Assynt – Caplich Wind farm”

  1. Would I be right in saying that when the populous bought Assynt to maintain their land and way of simple life that they have now turned into the very people they loathed? Just a thought and I could be wrong.

  2. Thanks James that’s good to know, at least.

  3. Many of us living in Assynt are fighting this tooth and nail in spite of the bribes offered by Muirhall Energy.Please help us by registering your objections on – planning.
    AlanR – you are not wrong but it’s the Assynt CroftersTrust you are thinking of.

  4. I’m fed up with the patronising attitudes on here. Our “simple way of live” is the same as yours, Alanr. We need jobs and money to survive. This isn’t some playground for you lot to enjoy you’re hobby in. It’s my home and my families home and quite frankly tourism just isn’t cutting it to support the community. The place is slowly dying. Lot’s of opinion about spoiling a view, not so much about the fact that Lochinver can’t even support a fire service now. This scheme is offering £100,000 a year to 5 communities as well as 2 years worth of work and staff needing fed and housed. Not a permanent answer. In fact we need more of this sort of thing. Unless any of you lot can come up with anything better for the local, working population who would like the opportunity to earn a living 12 months of the year and not just work waiting tables or doing changeovers of holiday cottages on a saturday morning for a few short months each year.

  5. I note with interest that you have not answered my full and fair response to your (very similar) comment on on my blog on the same subject, James.
    Why is that?
    Is it because you have no answer?

    • Alan thanks for your reply, it has saved me the effort of replying which to be honest I really could not be arsed 🙂

  6. Hi there Alan, Thank you for taking the time to leave a very detailed response to my post on your blog. I’m sorry I have not replied yet but I have been busy and I think a response like yours deserves a decent reply so I’ve been working on it. I’ll post it as soon as I can. My response to backpackingbongos will be a lot quicker. Both posts stem from my genuine concern about the problems facing my local community, so whereas Alan Sloman took the time to put forward his point of view, backpackingbongos clearly does not care about these problems and as such I’ll leave this site alone.

    • James the reason why I did not respond to you is because you started with ‘I’m fed up with the patronising attitudes on here’ It came across as aggressive, hence the fact that I could not be bothered to engage with you.

  7. My comment; if we are weak in Assynt for wanting to accept a ” bribe” why do all those so absolutely against it ,not come up with some practical suggestion or BRIBE of their own?
    something practical to help our village ,in return for us not upsetting you?


  8. this wind farm would provide so much for the local community. you guys are on about wind tubrines damaging the land scape yet you say nothing about the forestry just next door


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