Highlands & Islands

Mountaineering councils unite on wind farm campaign

Wind turbines
Image caption The organisations are opposed to wind farms in certain upland areas

Two organisations that represent walkers and climbers have united in a campaign to oppose wind farms being built in mountain areas.

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is backing a Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) manifesto on the renewable energy developments.

It calls for a suspension on further wind farm projects in what they call "key upland areas".

These include sites on and near Munros and Corbetts.

Munros are mountains of more than 3,000ft.

There are now 282 peaks of that size after new measurements of Beinn a'Chlaidheimh, near Ullapool, demoted it to Corbett status. The measurement has been recognised by the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

Corbetts are 221 hills of 2,500ft (762m) to 3,000ft (914.4m).

The BMC has 75,000 members and represents mountaineers and hill walkers across England and Wales. The MCofS has 11,400 members.

MCofS chief officer David Gibson said the organisations were not opposed to wind power, but did not want turbines constructed in what they consider to be sensitive areas.

BMC chief executive Dave Turnbull said his group was also aware of a need to harness wind as a renewable energy resource.

But he added: "Our members and many overseas climbers have always regarded Scotland's fantastic mountains as an important destination of choice, offering year-round challenges for hill walkers, and climbers.

"We are backing the MCofS manifesto because we believe that the mountains must be protected for future generations to enjoy - not just mountaineers but all those who enjoy the landscape."

The manifesto also has the support of The Munro Society, The Cairngorms Campaign and The North East Mountain Trust.

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