28.06.2012 - A 'wind farmer's wife' writes...

Following the 'blast' against wind by Scotland's only Tory MEP Struan Stevenson last week it seemed appropriate to write a rather more balanced letter to local paper The Buteman.

Our first letter to The Buteman was written almost a year ago by Adrian and this week's is written by his wife Elspeth.

Addressed to the Editor it reads:

Dear Sir

What a pity that Struan Stevenson MEP could not wait to read the Environmental Impact Assessment into our wind energy project at Ascog Farm before making his ill-judged comments last week.

He has neither contacted us nor visited us to hear our point of view or base his views on evidence in the report.

Should he visit, and he is very welcome to, he would understand that Ascog has had a rich history of energy generation throughout the ages.

Loch Ascog was used to power mills in the 19th Century and there was a coal mine on our land in the 20th Century. What better natural extension for our energy requirements in the 21st Century than wind, especially on such a windy hilltop?

He might also gain some insight into our ideas to invest in other recreational and tourist facilities for both locals and visitors alike and our desire to continue our own long family farming tradition on the island.

All of this, of course, is alongside our commitment to provide funding for Towards Zero Carbon Bute to continue and extend their work on the Island, helping to develop energy efficiency programmes, reducing Bute’s carbon footprint and tackling fuel poverty.

We are hoping to make a huge investment on Bute, one that in many different ways will create opportunities for local employment and skills development.

We look forward to revealing more in due course and hope that Mr Stevenson will be open-minded enough to appreciate that the project is indeed sympathetic to the environment and brings a variety of benefits to the community on Bute.


Elspeth McVey

Ascog Farm

Certainly, Struan Stevenson's overtly incendiary comments (likening wind turbines to Israeli low frequency noise weapons and the like) seem outrageous directed at renewable energy generally, and doubly so in relation to our own potential scheme on Bute where he has neither contacted us nor visited us to examine the great potential for wind energy at Ascog Farm.

He seems to have some 'previous' in this, having used his media contacts (he writes for the Times and his wife works for the BBC), to lay into many environmentally sound wind energy schemes while using the same outlets to promote the much more questionable extraction of shale gas!

Adrian predicted way back in August 2011 that "the pages of the local paper could soon fill with wind correspondence and a weird 'tit-for-tat' letter writing battle", one that we would not engage in until the full facts of the Environmental Impact Assessment were known.

As pro-wind blogger Aeolus has written, "Remember the statistics. Put 100 people together in a room. Just three of them will be out-and-out raving anti-wind loonies. Seven will be mildly disapproving of windfarms. Four will admit that they just don't know. The rest - 88 out of the 100 - will be okay with windfarms, either totally in favour or not really bothered."

We have always expected that a small band of anti-wind protestors will make a 'disproportionate' amount of noise.

Let's see what we get next week!