Wind farm spread could harm tourism

Scottish Government Committed to renewable energy

Stuart Brooks  John Muir Trust
Stuart Brooks
John Muir Trust
A new survey from Survation has revealed that half the population of the Highlands fear that the spread of large scale wind farm across wild land could damage tourism in the region. The poll, conducted for the John Muir Trust, asked over 500 residents across the eight Highlands and Islands constituencies ‘What impact do you think the spread of onshore wind farms on wild land in the Highlands and Islands might have on the tourist industry in the region?’

The results were:

  • A positive impact – 5.8%
  • A negative impact – 49.4%
  • No impact – 44.9%

The same poll found that a majority Highlands and Islands residents support a draft proposal by the Scottish Government draft to offer special protection for wild land areas as defined and mapped by Scottish Natural Heritage. Excluding don’t knows, that part of the poll revealed:

  • 53% support wild land protection (including 34% who ‘strongly support’ it)
  • 24% oppose wild land protection (including 10 % who ‘strongly oppose’ it)
  • 23% neither support nor oppose the proposal

Commenting on the tourism findings, Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust said that the poll showed two things. “First, that people in the Highlands and Islands support protection of wild land. And second, there is deep concern that if it is not protected, the impact could be damaging to the economy of the region.

“On the positive side, the wild land map of Scotland drawn up by SNH could help some of the lesser known parts of the wild Highlands to market themselves to the rest of the world, boosting tourism in some of our most remote areas. We want to protect wild land for its sake, but we also see it as a great asset for the people and communities who live in the adjacent glens and coastal strips.”

  • TutuWuwu

    Aloha from Maui! I really do not get the argument that wind farms would threaten tourism in Scotland. They certainly haven’t harmed the tourism industry in California, or anywhere else that I know of. Alternate energy will keep your environment even more pristine than it already is, and show the tourists that you really do care about that. OK, I do get it that the optics of a historic castle against the backdrop of wind turbines is a bit incongruous, but there are larger issues at stake here, there and everywhere. Besides, after August 10th, when Showtime premiers Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, you folks will be overrun with tourists. BTW, although I’m American by birth, my mom was a Robertson and my dad was a Montgomery, so my voice is Scot, once removed – LOL. If I could afford it, I would be hanging out in Scotland every summer, wind farms or not.