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SKYE Campaign Group

?stop the devastating impact that wind farms could have on the golden eagles of the Isle of Skye?

SKYE Campaign Group [Stop the Killing of Young Eagles] is a group of individuals from all walks of life who have come together to make people aware of the devastating impact that industrial wind farms could have on the golden eagle population of the Isle of Skye.Skye has one of the highest densities of golden eagles in Europe and now, after decades of conservation effort, these birds are facing an unprecedented threat from huge, commercial wind farms. Attracted by the spare grid capacity and the absence of MOD low-flying restrictions, multi-national developers are rushing to Skye. And in order to maximise their profits, they are targeting the windiest spots on the Island - prime eagle territory. S.K.Y.E. believe that in these locations such developments are not green or sustainable. The most robust scientific, independent research available proves that large?scale wind farms can have severe adverse impacts on golden eagles. See http://www.nrel.gov/wind/26092.pdf Following a reported 28-43 golden eagle deaths per year from wind farms in Altamont in the United States, the University of California Predatory Bird Research Group has been carrying out research since 1994; their radio-tagging and monitoring 179 golden eagles has shown that the numbers of young birds and non-breeding adults are in decline, and because there now might not be enough younger birds to replace the breeding adults as they die, the breeding population is under threat [their experiment is still ongoing?] There is no scientific evidence that it`s only the old-style turbines that are a problem. The similarities between Altamont and Skye are striking. They have similar golden eagle density and activity and (repeating the Californian mistakes) the Skye developers seem to think that if they just stay away from breeding sites the eagles won`t be badly damaged. So how will the Skye eagles be affected? There are currently 2 wind farm applications on Skye - both sites only 12km from the Cuillins proposed Special Protection Area for golden eagles and if these windfarms are approved they`ll open the floodgates for many, many more! The sites are:Edinbane Windfarm where 27 100m turbines are proposed [The developer hasn`t provided enough data to S.K.Y.E. for them to assess the impact of this wind farm on eagles - they claim that it`s confidential even although SNH says most of it could & should be made public!]Ben Aketil Windfarm where 14 100.5 m turbines are proposed [From just 14 turbines the developer is predicting a population decline of between 1% and 20% and this is just one windfarm!]So if you, like the Fatbirder want to help S.K.Y.E. in their fight to protect the Skye eagles send an simple email or letter by 29 November to: skye.planning@highland.gov.uk or to: Simon Fraser, Highland Council Planning Dept, The Green, Portree, Skye IV51 9BT objecting to the Ben Aketil Wind Farm (ref: 02/00275/FULSL) and telling them why you object. [Unfortunately the deadline has already passed for the Edinbane wind farm but if you would like to write in, the ref: is 02/00089/FULSL]The Fatbirder has been fortunate enough to visit Skye a number of times and watched golden eagles and other raptors there. It is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places on this planet and deserves a special measure of protection. There are places where wind farms are an appropriate sustainable way of creating power but the proposed sites on Skye are simply wrong. Please spread the word - the eagles need your help!

4th July 2014