David Bellamy – Bella Italia! Wales descends into a pit of hell

Finishing off my Seas & Shorelines book, a hiking trip to northern Italy, and a host of demonstrations, workshops and other items has left me little time to write blogs of late. I know some folk are quite happy to create their blog while riding across snow-encumbered steppes, I tend to leave most of my electronic appurtenances at home.

The Italian trip in northern Lombardia was really special, and accompanied by wonderful autumnal sunshine. The mountain scenery was outstanding, the granite peaks positively gleaming a brilliant white in the strong sunlight, and especially striking when set against the warm autumn colours on the trees. This brief sketch was carried out with a very soft Lyra sepia pencil in a few minutes, smudging the tones in places with my fingers as I tried to capture the beautiful evening light illuminating the peaks. Lyra make lovely pencils, and this simple approach is an excellent way to improve your drawing.

Back in Wales it came as quite a shock to learn that a wind turbine development is being allowed to go ahead by the Welsh Assembly in a truly beautiful area, despite being thrown out by the local planning committee and the inspector at the public inquiry, and with very strong opposition from local people. The environment minister, who appears to have no experience in the natural environment, decided to give the scheme the go-ahead ‘because of the national interest!’ Which national interest she had in mind is not clear as it is certainly in the interests of the foreign company constructing the turbines.

The photograph shows the glorious Llandegley Rocks ridge which makes for a really interesting walk. There are starling murmurations with up to around 80,000 birds, which the developer intends to get rid of by cutting down their trees and bushes. The World Health Organisation has recently produced a report that shows that wind turbines cause hearing loss, tinnitus, high blood pressure and heart problems, yet the Welsh Ass has not bothered to carry out an investigation into the health of people living near these contrivances. Mid-Wales relies heavily for tourism for its economy, but unlike other countries the Welsh Ass cares little. If they can do this to Llandegley Rocks then nowhere is safe in Wales from this industrialisation. There is no control, this outcome has indicated that public inquiries are a waste of time, effort, money and emotional resources, and that local democracy is absolutely dead in Wales. Planning control appears to be a thing of the past, and this decision throws all efforts to strike a fair balance into utter confusion. It is a very black prospect for the principality. God help the children of Wales.

21 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Bella Italia! Wales descends into a pit of hell

  1. I am afraid David that this appears to be the same all over the country. The mighty dollar drives everything and the whole procedure is driven by self interested fools. It is time that the people of Wales, England, Scotland and N ireland fought back.

    • Thanks, Mike for your comment. You are so right about money being the driver, and one wonders what can possibly be persuading this minister to go against all the experts and the needs of the local people in this issue? Most of the assembly members are urban dwellers and appear to have little concern for countryfolk, but you can bet that it’s more than just ignorance and any concern for the environment that’s turning them into extremists.

  2. Ooh David, you’re teasing us with your promise of ‘Seas & Shorelines’ book, can’t wait !
    I share your horror at the decision about the wind farm. How your beautiful landscape and it’s precious flora and fauna can be so treated is beyond comprehension !
    Your description of northern Lombardia sounded heavenly, lucky you, lovely little blog , thanks David

    • Thanks, Gill for your kind comments. Even the diminishing numbers of windfarm supporters should be anxious over this decision because it absolutely trashes the idea that the British planning system has any meaning any more. We are in the hands of extremists.
      Best wishes,

  3. If there are Red Kites, Buzzards and Peregrines in this area they will be killed on the turbines. Particularly the Red Kites, which considering we have one quarter of the worlds total population of Red Kites is a bit of a blow to say the least.

    • Yes, Jemima, there are a great many red kites and buzzards in the area and many of these are likely to be mashed up in turbine blades, which also decimate bat populations. The RSPB management should take a greater concern about the way birds are being killed by turbines, but they are paid to conduct surveys by the developers, so sadly they keep quiet. I can only hope that RSPB members become aware of what is happening in their name and challenge the management vigorously.

  4. I was really looking forward to a breath of fresh air in the midst of Black Friday junk and other hassles, but after a first step in this direction, I ended up reading about a different kind of Black Friday. The way the world is going in the hands of “Know-Nothings” and “Could Not Care Less” who see the future through the eyes of money, is truly depressing. I also fear for the children of today and tomorrow. We seem to educate very young children to be sensitive to all these issues and then they seem to get caught up in the “other” mad world of technology, money motivation and forget the good stuff. Beware! The next worst thing to happen to Wales, if that person has her way, could be Fracking, as is already the case in England… God help us then!

    • Yes, it seems Wales is now open to all manner of inappropriate developments now, if this decision stands. Even today we hear that huge earth-movers have moved to the Llandegley site, yet they don’t have any permission to work there. It’s common land and illegal to dig it up, despite the go-ahead for the scheme.

    • there are already licences given for fracking in north and south wales The energy policy for wales are supposed to be available but they are not available in normal down loadable formats and you have to phone up to get them.This shows that fracking and underground gasification will be approved.These greenhouse gas producing productions seem to be acceptable so they will have to build huge numbers of wind farms to off set these.

  5. Thanks for the info David re the wind turbines. Hilary and I are aghast and would like to forward this to various people and our local paper. Do we have your permission to do this I wonder. Please let me know if you have time. The dumping of nuclear waste in the channel off Penarth was reversed and therefore it might not be too late for this project to be relocated or abandoned.

  6. David, what a travesty the wind turbine scheme is for Wales and all our sympathies are with you. Maybe you need to have another March to demonstrate! These politicians have no idea of the value of the beauty of Wales and what it brings to the people and tourism. Talk about cutting of your nose…………..

    Looking forward to seeing your new book!

    Happy Christmas and love to you both.

  7. Where is democracy these days millions died for our democracy and this is what they do. Shameful. I hope there is an appeal process.
    Look forward to the book will there be a dvd to accompany.

    • We will be fighting back on this, even though the diggers have arrived (illegally, as they don’t have permission to work on the common land). There is little democracy in Wales these days. We are intending to produce a DVD to accompany the coast book – I’ve done quite a bit of filming this summer in various places.

  8. My husband and I are with you on the awful plan to put a wind farm on that beautiful ridge in Wales. Not only the beauty of the ridge being scarred but the starlings being chased out too! So sad to hear of this.

  9. It’s a sad world we live in when money takes over beauty and tranquility and carnt see how this is being allowed to go ahead with out a backhanded gesture

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