Millions Of Trees Felled For Wind Farms

  • Date: 03/01/14
  • Lindsay McIntosh, The Times

Millions of trees have been felled to clear the way for wind farms since the SNP came to power, new figures have revealed. The data shows that 2,510 hectares of woodland — the equivalent of five million trees — have been destroyed since 2007 as the Scottish Government pursues tough renewable energy targets.

The figures, which come from the Forestry Commission Scotland, show that only 792 hectares were planted in their place after the turbines were erected.

The Scottish Government wants the country to produce 100 per cent of its energy from renewables, and the strength of the sector is regularly deployed as an argument for independence. The administration has also said that it wants developers to replant any woodland they destroy.

Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, said the figures showed “the SNP is so blindly obsessed with renewable energy that it doesn’t mind destroying another important environmental attribute to make way for it”.

Mr Fraser, whose party asked for the figures using Freedom of Information legislation, said: “It’s astonishing to see that almost as many trees have been destroyed as there are people in Scotland.

“The contribution of trees to our environment has been well established through the ages. I’m still waiting to see compelling evidence of the contribution windfarms make.

“They are an expensive and unreliable alternative, and not one that it’s worth making this level of sacrifice to accommodate. If the Scottish Government cooled its ludicrous renewable energy targets, we wouldn’t see this kind of wanton destruction and intrusion on our landscape.”

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