Duke looks both ways on wind turbine risk to birds

While reading the September 1 edition of TheSouthern I was drawn by the breathtaking remarks of one Ralph George Algernon Percy (12th Duke of Northumberland) in his bid to “woo” farmers and landowners to reject and withstand the “lure of wind farm riches”.

From a man whose personal wealth is reported to be more than £315million and who has received lottery grants and monies from other charitable bodies to do up his vast ornamental garden, it would seem quite bad enough but the best was yet to come.

Reading further, he justifies his stance against wind farms as they are “noisy, kill birds and bats, including rare ones, spoil the lives of local people and potentially affect tourism”.

All this from a man who celebrated his birthday (50th) with a special shoot, a target having been set to have 1,000 wild grey partridges on call.

By the end of the day, his party had caused the death of “84½ brace of greys, three brace of redlegs, 85 pheasants and 11 pigeons”.

Can it be that this is the same person having killed 270 birds in a single day for sport who then attempts to portray himself as someone concerned that wind farms can kill birds?

His ancestors fought against Scotland when the first duke was part of the attempt to force Mary, Queen of Scots to marry Edward, and for that, Sir Walter Scott used the term “the war of rough wooing”. This rough wooing seems to be still going on by the current duke.

I am sure a great number of Scottish Borderers will take heed of the words of this upper class, extremely wealthy and privileged landowner and will turn down the chance of a bob or two from wind farm developers. Aye right.

Rab Stewart

Selkirk