A celebration of Scotland’s sheepdog heritage has been given a vital cash lifeline by wind farm developers.
Delighted organisers of the Scottish National Sheep Dog Trials say generous support from Banks Renewables could make this summer’s event one of the most successful to date.
Sheepdog trials are an iconic part of the British countryside – so much so that at its peak in the 1980s, TV show One Man and His Dog pulled in eight million viewers every week.
Now sheepdog lovers say the financial support from Hamilton-based Banks Renewables will help the competition win new fans, when it takes place at Kypehill Farm, South Lanarkshire.
Ian Fleming, Local Chairman of Scottish National Sheep Dog Trials 2012, said: “We are delighted that Banks Renewables has decided to be the main sponsor of this year’s trials.
“This event has been extremely important to Scottish communities for more than 100 years as it helps bring visitors to the local area and generates an income for the community where it is taking place.
“This will be the third time that the trials have come to Kypehill Farm and having sponsorship from Banks Renewables helps us to put on an event in a place where we can source everything locally, from hospitality to toilets.
“It is hard to get sponsorship in the current climate so that’s what makes this donation more important than ever. We are extremely grateful for the support from Banks Renewables.”
Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the event over three days in August, with visitors also expected to enjoy other nearby attractions, including the Clydeside garden centres and the world famous Robert Owen centre at New Lanark.
The Scottish trials area organised under the auspices of The International Sheep Dog Association will be televised by BBC Alba.
More than 150 competitors are expected and the Scottish leg is a springboard to the International Sheep Dog trials due to take place in Wales and involving the best sheepdogs from all other parts of the UK.
Banks Renewables is in the process of submitting plans to South Lanarkshire Council for two separate wind farm sites one at Kype Muir and the second at Middle Muir 2km north west of Crawfordjohn.
The Banks Kype Muir Wind Farm, would consist of 26 turbines, which could generate energy to power for up to 58,000 homes and would displace up to 117,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, that would otherwise be released if electricity was produced from fossil fuel power generation.
Banks Renewables also has plans to install 19 turbines on farmland at Middle Muir, which could generate enough energy to power up to 29,000 homes and displace up to 65,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year over the 25 year lifetime of the site.
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “It is great that we have been able to support this year’s Scottish National Sheep Dog Trials.
“Our development with care policy is fundamental to everything we do and this is just one of the ways we want to get involved with the local community in Strathaven and across South Lanarkshire.
“We realise how important traditional events like this are to local people and we hope with our support it can continue to be a successful event in Scotland and also help to attract more visitors to the Strathaven area when the event is taking place.”
The creation of the wind farm would also offer contracts worth millions of pounds to local construction and support businesses, while a community support package would yield benefits worth millions of pounds to community groups, local projects and job creation schemes.
Banks Renewables is committed to maintaining the positive community relationships that it has developed over the last year in the run up to the submission of the planning application and welcomes all feedback in respect of the application, as the proposal goes through the planning process.
Power generated by wind farms will help Scotland continue to enjoy the constant, reliable energy supply modern life demands – and such wind farms have already reduced the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels imported from unstable overseas markets.
The Scottish Sheep Dog Trials will take place from August 16-18 at Kypehill Farm, near Strathaven in Lanarkshire.