David Bellamy joins Lammermuir Hills wind farm protest

Image caption,
David Bellamy has backed local opposition to the wind farm

A protest march has taken place against plans for a 48-turbine wind farm in the Scottish Borders.

Prof David Bellamy joined the campaigners opposing North British Wind Power's (NBWP) scheme at Fallago Rig in the Lammermuir Hills.

Say No To Fallago claims it is the "final straw" and will destroy the last "unspoiled section" of the landscape.

The company says the project can help meet Scotland's renewable energy goals and supply up to 80,000 homes.

The development has been the subject of a public inquiry, the outcome of which is still awaited.

Organisers said more than 300 people took part in the protest.

Campaign group spokesman Mark Rowley said: "It is a fact that more people oppose this application than live in our small local community.

"We have really touched a nerve and we feel that those who cherish the importance of Scotland's rural landscapes are behind us.

"The Scottish government must listen to our concerns. We cannot risk the complete saturation of such a beautiful part of the world with wind turbines."

The protest walk followed a route along a nine-mile stretch of the Lammermuir Hills.

Mr Bellamy told campaigners: "The outcome of the public inquiry into this wind farm application will be a watershed moment. If it is approved, the Scottish government will be declaring open war on Scotland's countryside - no landscape will be safe from industrialisation by these high rise wind machines."

'Limited visibility'

However, NBWP managing director Andrew Shaw criticised Mr Bellamy as one of a "small minority" who refused to accept human activity was a major contributor to climate change.

He also defended the site selection.

Mr Shaw added: "Fallago Rig is located in one of the remotest parts of the Borders, on land which is already degraded by a massive pylon line.

"The reporter concluded from the first public inquiry that Fallago's limited visibility was remarkable for a wind farm location in the lowland hills.

"The nearest village is over 5km (3.1 miles) away and supports the proposals."

A decision from the second inquiry is expected to be delivered by Scottish ministers in the near future.

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