North East MEP hits back at Viscount Ridley in wind turbine row

A Euro MP from the North East has hit back at a peer who said that wind farms have left parts of Northumberland looking like "Golgotha"

Viscount Ridley
Viscount Ridley

A Euro MP from the North East has hit back at a peer who said that wind farms have left parts of Northumberland looking like "Golgotha".

Writer Matt Ridley, who sits in the House of Lords as Viscount Ridley and who owns the Blagdon estate in Northumberland, said wind turbines were ruining the countryside and killing thousands of animals.

But North East Liberal Democrat MEP Fiona Hall said that wind power was crucial to combating climate change, which was more of a threat to the Northumberland countryside than wind farms.

She said: “Wind farms are an essential component of the UK’s commitment to using renewable energy sources.

“The real threat to wildlife in Northumberland is not wind turbines, it is the devastating effects of climate change that threatens to wipe out entire species of animals as their habitats are depleted by environmental change.

“Generating energy from wind is part of the shift to a sustainable low carbon economy that will help us tackle climate change.

“The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are absolutely clear that when properly sited wind turbines are not a major cause of bird or bat death, and there is no evidence that they have caused declines in any bird species at the biogeographic population level.

“There are no wind farms operating in the UK deemed as a significant threat to any bird species.

“It is important to deal with this issue by looking at the facts, and I would urge Lord Ridley to consider the fundamental purpose these wind farms serve, instead of using biblical metaphors to voice subjective views about their appearance.”

In a debate in the House of Lords last week Viscount Ridley compared the view from his home at Blagdon to Golgotha, the hill where, according to the Gospels, Jesus was crucified.

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