Wind Farm Advice Note

Fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil) are a finite resource, it is therefore essential to find renewable alternatives. BASC understands that, as part of a renewable energy strategy, wind farms are one of a number of possible options. Alternatives include tidal and wave power, burning energy crops and solar power. Wind power is popular at the moment because it is thought to be cost-effective. Other forms of renewable energy will become more popular in the future as commercial viability increases.

BASC does not oppose the development of wind farms as such, recognising the importance of sustainable energy. However, where wind farm developments threaten shooting, members will want to know how to make representation to either oppose or influence the development in some way.

Throughout the UK, wind farm developers have to follow a standard process before they can start to build. This involves making the public aware of the proposal; usually details are published in local papers, at libraries and other public buildings. Developers must produce and publish an environmental statement on the possible impact of the planned development. The environmental statement is open to public scrutiny, and will be commented on by the statutory conservation agencies (Natural Resources Wales, Natural England, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage) together with NGOs like the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts. It is at this stage that people who shoot can make representation.

Key areas to consider when faced with a wind farm development include:

  •  The impact of disturbance to birds, leading to displacement, exclusion or the creation of a barrier to movement with the possibility of collision mortality.
  • The impact of the foundations for the turbine.
  • The impact of the cables from the turbines to the national grid, whether over or underground.
  • The impact of any constructions – roads, substations etc.

BASC members are most likely to get involved because of their local knowledge of bird movements. Where members have information that challenges the content or accuracy of the environmental statement they should respond saying why they think it is wrong, outlining what they know about bird movements, and over what period of time these observations have been made. Letters should be copied to the regional offices of the statutory conservation agency and RSPB. These organisations are keen to ensure that wind farm developments do not impact on wildlife and they will be grateful for any information you can provide.

The nearest local office for either statutory conservation agencies or the RSPB can be obtained from their websites.

Related pages

Rice breast disease in ducks – we need your help

Rice Breast Disease in ducks – we need your help The disease Sarcocystosis, or ‘rice breast’ disease of ducks, is caused by the parasite Sarcocystis spp and seems to be on the rise in the UK. The parasite has a relatively complex life cycle using birds as an intermediate host and carnivores

Stalking schemes

These schemes have been developed to provide a variety of different stalking opportunities for members who wish to take up stalking and to provide those with limited access to stalking of their own, the opportunity to gain practical experience and increase their knowledge.

Shooting and VAT

Shooting and VAT Guidance on when a shoot must register for Value Added Tax (VAT) was written and published by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) working in conjunction with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as long ago as