Environment Minister and SNP MSP for South Scotland, Paul Wheelhouse, has welcomed an innovative guide to how birds interact with wind farms.
The guide, announced at a summit on Tuesday, will be produced by government, industry and charities.
More than £50,000 has already been spent on a series of studies by the Scottish Windfarm Bird Steering Group, made up of the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Renewables.
At the summit the partnership announced the development of a ‘Good Practice Guide’ on how bird populations, and the habitats on which they depend, can be more effectively managed, as well as the results of work done to date. More funding is already earmarked for future studies to develop the guide.
Mr Wheelhouse welcomed the move, saying: “This is an important step forward, demonstrating that the renewables industry and conservation groups are working together to help the conservation of bird populations across Scotland. It is particularly encouraging to see the focus from the group to base the guide on real evidence rather than on speculation. By working closely with the industry I am sure they will produce a practical guide for the future.”
The Scottish Windfarm Bird Steering Group (SWBSG) has research worth around £54,000 underway. The group is funded by the Scottish Government, SNH, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Renewables and industry partners SSE, ScottishPower Renewables, RES and Vattenfall.