Country File – An unhappy experience

Cornwall Protect were right to be suspicious of the media. For those of you who didn’t see it Cornwall Protect only got a 25 second slot on Country File which contained nothing of the main issue we wished to raise, the destruction of Cornwall’s greatest sustainable asset, the Landscape. After a lengthy filming session to get so little air time was frustrating. We felt used by the BBC, being portrayed as some sort of Nimby who wasn’t grateful for the turbine boiling his kettle.

It has long been a frustration that the media never wish to debate the inconvenient truths about wind turbines and solar farms. They hide behind claimed impartiality and balance but always clearly indicate their preferences.

Yet we remain convinced future generations will be asking “how the turbine and solar scam was allowed to happen?” and seeking to understand “why the media didn’t expose the futility of what was being done in the name of saving the planet“.

We did receive some sympathy from Christopher Booker writing in the Daily Mail, a paper not too enamoured with the BBC, and they did print our follow up letter, expressing our dissatisfaction, almost in full.

As the “Cornish Turbine Protester” shown in Country File I thank Christopher Booker for his article today. Involvement in Country File was not a happy experience. We feel we were used. The organisation I represented has been fighting a lengthy campaign to try and get Cornwall Council to recognise the damage being done to the unique Cornish Landscape by the ad hoc proliferation of turbines in the county. Concerns also expressed by English Heritage, the governments landscape advisors, “wind turbines are replacing Church Towers as the tallest man made structures in the Landscape, the character of the landscape has changed”. Cornwall Council are actually planning to build their own turbines. Our objections are rooted in Planning Policy and Guidance and it is telling that communities fighting turbines in Cornwall who can afford expert planning advice are 95% successful in stopping turbine developments. We hoped Country File would get our message to a national audience, alerting those who know and love Cornwall, including the Prime Minister, that it is being ruined. After lengthy filming all we got was a few meaningless seconds. Now we know why they spent so long filming me making a cup of tea. None of our evidence of how current protections for the environment and landscape, enshrined in legislation, are being sacrificed on the altar of renewable energy. None of our concerns that wind turbines are a dangerous cul de sac in the search for renewable energy, giving the message our energy problem is sorted when it very evidently isn’t. None of our plea that if we want to save the planet we should save what is best about it. Interestingly this weeks Country File piece on how Cornwall’s landscape inspires artists showed St Enodoc Church, beloved by Betjeman and the Prime Minister, now currently threatened by a 77m turbine, and finished with a view to the horizon showing the 5 massive 100m turbines recently installed above Wadebridge. Is it too late to save Cornwall? Hopefully some good can come out of this unhappy experience by those of your readers who know and value the special environment of Cornwall following us on twitter, @cornwallprotect. 

But as with all things to do with renewable energy we live to fight another day.

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