Wind speed mast a potential danger to wintering geese

Over 18,000 pink-footed geese winter on Greenlaw Moor.
Over 18,000 pink-footed geese winter on Greenlaw Moor.

Scottish Natural Heritage are objecting to a planning application for a temporary wind mast at Gordon, concerned about the impact it could have on Greenlaw Moor’s pink-footed geese population.

The moor is a Special Protection Area of international importance for its 18,500 population of wintering pink-footed geese, and SNH regard “the potential impacts of this development on the geese to be a concern”.

SNH were asked for their views by Scottish Borders Council after West Coast Energy submitted an application for planning permission for the 80m high mast.

Their supporting statement, submitted with the planning application, states: North Borders Wind Energy Limited is currently assessing the viability of land at Weetfoot Bog, near Duns for power generation from wind turbines.”

And an application for ten 115m high turbines on the same site was submitted to SBC this week before any decision has been reached about the wind speed mast.

In their response SNH said: “We know from local studies that geese have regular flightlines to and from Hule Moss (on Greenlaw Moor) to their feeding grounds in the fields to the west of Greenlaw and to and from other feeding areas further to the south west.

“In our view this proposal is likely to have a significant effect.”

Should planning permission be given for the temporary wind speed mast then SNH suggest that it should be made visible to the geese by locating bird deflectors.

The site is close to Inch Moor where another energy company plans to erect 19 turbines 130m high and Black Rig where a third company is wanting to put up 14 turbines 132m high.