How green is green?


They are threatening to come again marching across our countryside. There is to be a new wind farm in Wales and the pylons will be striding over the fields carrying renewable energy to Shropshire.

I guess our ideas about them depends on where we live and whether the turbines or pylons are near our houses. Most of us agree about renewable energy but do any of us want massive infrastructures near us?

There are other considerations too like the despoiling of the countryside and the threat to wildlife. Also, the construction of the turbines and their journey on our roads may surprise you. They are made of steel and fibre glass, cement is used for the foundation of the tower and plastics for seals, this does not seem very green. Another factor is that some travel from abroad. It is not simple, it is not completely free energy or completely carbon neutral, but maybe the best option.

I know that some turbines are made in East Yorkshire and that is where I have just been to see my family and the sea. We went to the RSBP reserve and there we saw the short-eared owl in the twilight above the old meadow. It may have come in from colder countries like Iceland. It was too far away to see detail, but I saw its long wings which were pale underneath. We were all excited as it is quite rare.

The last of the gannets were there too with a few young ones clinging to the cliffs, their pale blue eyes staring out waiting for their parents. Hopeful of food, their black tipped wings and long beaks stretched out as soon as an adult flew past.

We had fresh crab sandwiches (at £10 each) and sat on the beach to watch two little girls paddling and screaming when a wave came threatening to wet their pretty dresses. It seemed like a scene from the past when my sister and I, at seven and nine years old, did exactly the same.

Back home in Shropshire there was another treat waiting for us. The very rare spotted flycatchers put in an appearance. They did not nest here this year as they have in the past, so it was a thrill to see three young catching flies at the edge of our woodland. They will soon be on their way to Africa.

Another thrill is the realisation that when the pylons march across the fields we will not see them at all because a power line was muted about ten years ago and we planted tall trees in our field Goose Bottom. They form an excellent green screen.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

Gannets getting ready to fly

Pylons to 'fly' across our countryside


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