Janet Street-Porter: “ghastly proposal to cover 890 acres of this lovely wetland with panels”

Jane Street-Porter wrote a piece for the Independent back in November in which she said:

Clean energy companies will destroy our land for a profit

Yesterday I picked apples from ancient trees and listened to the sound of geese and waders. Now, there’s a ghastly proposal to cover 890 acres of this lovely wetland with panels

What is the price clean of energy? Recently, we were told that wind and solar renewables were providing nearly a third of the UK’s energy, a record high. At what cost?

I’m not opposed to wind farms off the coast, and even in remote upland areas, but the blight of solar “farms” must be halted. All over the country, hard-pressed farmers are taking subsidies to cover arable land with acres of ugly solar panels standing in militant rows, surrounded by fencing. This might make sense in empty central Spain, but in Kent – the market garden of England – it is obscene.

For a decade, I’ve walked round an unspoilt stretch of the Thames Estuary which borders Graveney marshes, home to the South Swale nature reserve. Yesterday I picked apples from ancient trees and listened to the sound of geese and waders. Now, there’s a ghastly proposal to cover 890 acres (500 football pitches) of this lovely wetland with panels. Cleve Hill solar farm is a desecration (and blatant misuse of the word farm) that must be halted before this unique Kent landscape is ruined for ever. Renewable energy companies always claim they care about the environment – but, if unchecked, they will destroy it for profit.

via Clean energy companies will destroy our land for a profit | The Independent

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One thought on “Janet Street-Porter: “ghastly proposal to cover 890 acres of this lovely wetland with panels”

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  1. It is good to know that so many people have, like myself, been walking the land at Cleve Hill and noting the great variety of bird species that can be seen there. However, Vicky Ellis of CPRE Kent has pointed out that if our observations are to count, then each of us needs to log those observations with the Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre. (See https://www.kmbrc.org.uk/submitting-records-to-kmbrc). It is not a daunting process, so please do join in and help to influence the decision in our favour.
    There are many bird species that are listed as protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means they are “protected by special penalties” and “at all times”! This means that for these birds and their young, it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest. My own personal feeling is that this one piece of legislation may, by itself, torpedo the developer’s plans to cover the area in solar panels. See here for a list of all the protected species. Here is a list of some of the birds that I think it is quite likely that any of us may record on that land: Avocet, Brambling, Fieldfare, any Harriers (eg Marsh Harrier), Hobby, Kingfisher, Kite (red), Merlin, Owl (barn), Peregrine and Redwing. I’ve seen most of those in recent years, so now I need to go back, see them and get them recorded!

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