Friday, 19 January 2018


'Dong' is set to build super wind turbines off the coast between Heysham and Barrow and what an interesting and informative leaflet they produced, providing technical information. I got a leaflet in Heysham, but lent it to someone and now it's lost. What a pity as I might have regaled you with facts.

I often come across windfarms on my travels.  Now as one crosses the border to Scotland the once vast forests are being felled for timber and the land being utilised for windfarms.  Once when holidaying near Stranraer I drove onto desolate moorland with a single track road and after crossing hill and dale came across the beginnings of a windfarm development. So the road ahead had been widened for cable laying and access. The once open tract of land was fenced with substantial tracks going into the distance. Initially it took some time to figure out what was happening as no turbines had been delivered nor erected yet. I wondered what impact this construction work and consequent wind production might have on wildlife.

Out in Morecambe Bay the turbines span the horizon, row upon row...very often unmoving, according to weather conditions. Some say that the cost of erecting and maintaining these outweighs their electrical output, and that they are in fact inefficient.

Mankind though needs all the power it can get, as demand may outstrip production. We are in a no- win  situation it seems. Love them or loathe them it seems we need them.

It does not necessarily anger me that I see them in the landscape...after all they can make use of relatively unproductive moorland, heath and estuary. They provide me with a landmark when I am out walking. The best ones locally for this lie in Littledale, where the narrow road ends in the Lancashire Fells. Actually I can spot them from the prom in Fleetwood and they provide a pointer to the Fells either side and beyond into Yorkshire.

Travelling east from Blackpool there is one by the cheese factory. This amuses me as I don't visualize electricity production, but instead in my imagination I see the paddles turning to make the cheese...if the turbine turns slowly I think that the curds and whey must be taking a long time to separate!

Unfortunately if you absolutely abhor the sight of wind turbines then it must be pretty annoying to see so many being erected. Needs must though and until mankind finds some other efficient source of energy or realises that windfarms are just not economically viable, it seems we have to put up with them.

My poem this week does not mention wind turbines until the last few lines. I wrote this piece after ascending Clougha Pike specifically to find some constructions built by Andy Goldsworthy on the north slope of the fell. This small windfarm is in Littledale.

      Andy Goldsworthy's Sculptures

      Three silent sentinels amid the moorland heather
      Facing sunwards, all three, facing wind and weather.
      In line- not touching- brothers in stone together.

      Openings gazing out towards the sunrise,
      As if in a silent scream of sudden surprise
      At the view to Yorkshire and the Ingleborough rise.

      Three alone in a disused quarry of lime,
      A boulder strewn landscape forgotten in time.
      Where men once grafted, faces drawn in grime.

      Three silent sentinels that tell of the past,
      Of a labour in quarrying- not to last-
      Shortlived, essential once but gone too fast.

      Three brothers side by side never linking.
      One eye each looking out - unblinking,
      Where across the valley turbines turn unthinking.

      Linked together across the ages forever
      Technology old and new bound together.
      Many silent sentinels standing in the heather.....

 Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! Kath


Steve Rowland said...

I love this blog, Kath. Great minds think alike concerning the Dewlay windmill as I also imagined the turbine hooked up to the churn!

Your observations on wind farms are nicely balanced. As for the poem, I think it's a terrific piece of work, beautifully constructed, and I look forward to you reading it out loud.