April 4, 2013 | Community News
A site earmarked for a potential wind farm, has been revealed as a thriving natural habitat rich in wildlife.
Banks Renewables has uncovered a wide diversity of animal and plant life and we are confident our development will further enhance local ecology.
We hope to establish up to 10 wind turbines at Knockendurrick, between Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.
Now we have revealed how the land is home to an important range of birds, bats and other mammals, as well as fish, toads, snakes and lizards.
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables, said: “We’ve carried out one of the most detailed wildlife studies this area has ever seen, because it is crucial we understand the complex web of life on the site.
“That way, if our plans are given the go-ahead we can take every possible step to make sure our development will further enhance the wildlife in the area as well as being designed with sensitivity to protect the habitats that already exist.
“In the meantime, we really hope people in this part of Dumfries and Galloway will be interested to learn about the wide and varied plants and animals which are to be found in this part of the world.
“We are also very keen to explore working with local schools to arrange site trips and help pupils celebrate the diversity on their doorstep.”
As part of our development with care approach, we carry out extensive site assessments long before any planning application is made. At Knockendurrick, independent experts carried out a two year-long study of the area.
During the 2012 breeding bird survey, 61 species were recorded. They are confident the proposed wind farm will not affect species of national conservation concern, such as Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Snipe, Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Raven, Grasshopper Warbler, Redstart, Whinchat, Wheatear, Tree Pipit, Linnet, Crossbill and Yellowhammer.
Meanwhile, we will work to assure Scottish Natural Heritage that the proposed turbines will not affect wintering populations of Hen Harriers, Peregrine Falcons, Merlin, Pink-footed Geese and White-fronted Geese.
Experts also found good numbers of common toad on the site, which despite their name are a priority species on the Government’s UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Reptiles including common lizard, slow worm and adders were also found.
Mammals in the area included common and soprano pipistrelle bats, badgers and otters. The otters are believed to be thriving because of the important stocks of fish in local watercourses.
We will hold public exhibitions about its Knockendurrick wind farm in Twynholm, Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse of Fleet. It is hoped they will help inform the community of the specific details of the project as well as detailing the benefits which could be available.
We have already embarked on a series of meetings with communities in the area to gauge interest in the idea of a community wind farm partnership. Such a partnership could see communities earn a share of wind farm revenues, with an additional option to buy equity.
Equivalent projects from Banks Renewables have resulted in the creation of jobs and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.