May 24, 2011
by Sally Williams
Around 1,500 people have gathered at the Senedd to protest against plans to build a new network of windfarms and electricity pylons in Powys.
The proposed development in Mid Wales could see around 10 wind farms connected to 50 pylons, extending up to 154ft in height, as well as a new substation.Click to enlarge
The area concerned was earmarked back in 2005 as part of the UK Government's Tan 8 scheme to cut the nation's carbon emissions.
The new pylons would run from a region of Montgomeryshire to near Shrewsbury, on the English border.
Today's protest, believed to be the largest single gathering at the Senedd, was addressed by politicians representing the four main parties in mid and west Wales, as well as the television weather presenter Sian Lloyd.
The huge crowd, waving banners with slogans like "Don't cut down our trees" and "No 2 Powys Power Plans", included four campaigners who had walked from Welshpool to meet the coachloads of demonstrators who travelled down from Powys.Click to enlarge
Russell George, Conservative AM for Montgomeryshire and Shadow Minister for the Environment, who helped organise the rally, said: “The people of Mid Wales have come together to send a clear message to politicians that we will not stand by as our beautiful landscape is damaged by wind farms.
“This demonstration is a show of strength from the people of Mid Wales, who have too often been ignored by the successive governments in Cardiff Bay.”
Nick Larder, Ifan Davies, Oili Hedman and local journalist Richard Jones walked 112 miles from Welshpool to the capital because they feel so strongly about the “industrialisation of the countryside”.Click to enlarge
Mr Jones said: “After five days of walking we finally got into Cardiff, we've battled through wind, rain, hail - we have blisters and sore knees - but it has all been worth it, especially when we have see so much support.”
And Montgomeryshire children presented AMs with an arrangement of local wild flowers and grasses to show them how the beauty of the Severn Valley habitat and the wildlife it contains is under threat from the large-scale plans.
Joyce Watson Labour AM for Mid and West Wales said:“I was delighted to receive this beautiful reminder of our landscape, which I have often walked.
“My father is from Llanbrynmair, and I know how precious our environment is.
“Last month I met campaigners at Abermule and I promised that I’d listen and that I’d feed their views back to the Welsh Government.”Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge