The wind farm’s impact on tourism

AS A tour guide for the last twenty years I have spoken to hundreds, probably thousands of visitors about the wind farm and not one of them had a positive thing to say about the envisaged industrialisation of Shetland’s natural environment.

Tourism has the biggest dependency for jobs and income above all others in the isles.

Accommodation – hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, AirBnBs.

Transport – car hire companies, bus companies, bus drivers, tour guides, private tour operators, NorthLink, flights, inter island ferries, fuel companies…

Craft industry – hand knitters, frame knitters, artists, numerous other assorted makers (see this weekend’s craft fair) craft shops, yarn shops, hardware shops, book shops, post offices …

Food outlets – restaurants, cafes, takeaways, shops…

Food producers – mussel farms, butchers, fishmongers, bakers, crofters, horticulturalist, dairy, wholesalers…

Visitor attractions – heritage centres, museums, boat trips, craft producers, food fair, craft fair, motor show…

Entertainment – pubs, hotels, museums, Mareel, village halls…

The number of people dependent on servicing visitors over the year and the busy summer season must be thousands. That means full time and part time workers year round, seasonal workers, employers.

When the men were here building the gas plant there was no accommodation for tourists as all accommodation was full, but the wind farm would bring on a whole different set of problems not least with the infrastructure.

The Viking Energy wind farm is like this Tory government; hell bent on destroying us no matter what, reducing us to penury for some imaginary cash flow that will probably have to be spent propping up the much reduced incomes of all the afore mentioned businesses and individuals, not to mention the crash of property values and inability to build new houses due to proximity to turbines.

So along with the release of all the CO2 from the peat disturbance, changes in the hydrology, danger to wildlife and health, we will all have years of disruption.

Beyond seeing the pound signs there seems not to have been very much actual consideration to the reality of this project.

Sarah McBurnie
Unst