Scotland Caught Chopping 16M Trees For Wind Turbines

Since 2000, Scotland has felled an estimated 15.7 million trees on public land to clear the way for wind farm development, a Scottish National Party minister admitted in a letter last month.

In a July 13 letter to conservative Scottish MP Liam Kerr, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon revealed that since 2000, wind farms have cleared 7,858 hectares of public land. Based on an average of 2,000 trees per hectare, Gougeon estimates that the total number of trees felled comes to 15.7 million., the UK Telegraph reported.

Gougeon insisted that there is planning underway to protect woodland while wind farm developers will be expected to compensate by planting trees elsewhere.

However, MSP Liam Kerr said communities throughout Scotland have expressed concerns over the wind farms and argued that the public would be “astonished” at the total.

Currently, Scotland already has enough wind turbines to generate an estimated 8.4 gigawatts of power. However, Scotland National Party ministers want to add another 8 to 12 gigawatts.

The conservation charity John Muir Trust warned last year that the threshold for permitting wind farm companies to build turbines on wildland is too low.

The Scottish National Party seeks to replace existing turbines nearing the end of their working life with larger, taller versions. It was reported earlier this year that some wind farm developers are seeking to build turbines up to 850 feet tall.

In her letter to Kerr, Gougeon insisted that tree removals are only allowed in areas where it achieves “significant and clearly defined additional public benefits.”

Right-wing politician Nigel Farage blasted the Scottish National Party last weekend, accusing the party of hypocrisy, the UK Express reported.

In a tweet sharing the UK Telegraph article, Farage said, “The hypocrisy and damage done by the green agenda is plain to see.”

Glasglow’s Whitelee Windfarm is the largest land-based windfarm in Europe with 215 turbines generating 539 megawatts of power.