October 25, 2011
Author: Markieta, Michael; and Carver, Steve
Regular visitors to the Scottish hills cannot have failed to notice the increasing environmental influence of renewable energy in recent years. Windfarms now feature prominently in views from many of our most iconic ‘wild’ mountains, a trend likely to accelerate with the Scottish Government’s tight timetable to generate all of Scotland’s power needs with low carbon technologies. If many more large onshore windfarms now look inevitable, then the question of how best to minimize their environmental impact arguably gains greater urgency. Is it possible both to develop and to conserve the large areas of scenic wild landscape for which Scotland is notable in a European context? Where are the areas which if developed would minimize the extent of intrusion on the remaining uninfluenced landscape? A new study by Steve Carver and Michael Markieta of the Wildland Research Institute at the University of Leeds aims to address this question.
The team summarize their work for UK Hillwalking here, with links to the interactive mapping they’ve been using to determine landscape impacts.