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"We cannot be the lungs and the powerhouse of Britain. We have been encouraged over the years to be the lungs for urban Britain and tourism is now the bread and butter of the Highland economy"

Sheena Slimon, Highland Councillor


"We come to Scotland for the wild country - there is hardly any left in England. Existing pylons are an eyesore. To erect larger ones will further spoil our enjoyment. We live, almost, in the Peak District National Park. It has been spoiled by development. Please preserve the Cairngorms!"

J & M Hayes, Chesterfield
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* Why should we all care? * * *   *
Putting pylons through the Cairngorms National Park would disfigure a jewel in the crown of Scotland's natural heritage. We are very concerned that building these pylons will create a 'corridor' and more lines will follow.

In September 2005, the Park won a British first, when was awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The European charter is given only to areas that meet the highest standards for sustainable development and management of tourism.

Mrs Debbie Strang, the CNPA's Tourism & Economic Development Manager commented: "With tourism being a key economic driver in the Cairngorms, it is important that future development and growth is managed responsibly to ensure that the special qualities of the park are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations."

The proposed mega-pylons make a mockery of this award.

The Park was set up in 2003 to protect one of Europe's last wildernesses from modern development. This plan is against all the aims of the Park.

It includes the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the UK and is home to 25% of Britain's threatened birds, animals and plants. The Park is also home to 17,000 people.

The Park is a major attraction for the millions of tourists that visit Scotland every year in search of wild open spaces. In 2001, more than 19 million visitors to Scotland spent over 4 billion, supporting 193,000 jobs. Barely two years after its creation, giant pylons could march for 30 miles through areas of great natural beauty in the Park and affect communities whose economies depend largely on tourism.

The proposed 67-metre high pylons are twice the size of existing pylons in the Scottish Highlands and the same height the Wallace Monument in Stirling.


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The giant pylons compared to the current pylons and the Wallace monument. They will pass close to Ardverikie,
'Glenbogle' in Monarch of the Glen

In a 2003 survey, two-thirds of visitors to the National Park said that their perception prior to coming was of 'a tranquil, unspoilt, wilderness area where conservation is the key aim and where the environment is protected and managed.' The vast majority said they liked the beautiful hills, scenery, wide spaces and peacefulness.

"We are worried that many tourists won't come back once this perception is shattered by the proposed pylons route - the south-west will look more like an industrial park than a national park", commented spokesperson Roy.

Over a quarter of those surveyed by VisitScotland said they would avoid parts of the countryside with wind developments. Heading the list of things that most detracted from a visit were electricity pylons and mobile phone masts. If this percentage of visitors decides to go elsewhere, it will have a serious economic impact on the area.

The visual and noise pollution will affect residents. There is growing concern over the impact of the 400KV lines on children's health. A recent UK government study, headed by Dr Gerald Draper, has shown a near doubling of childhood leukaemia within 100 meters of high voltage power lines. Leukaemia kills more children in the UK than any other disease and is on the increase.

The difficulties of under-grounding or undersea are exaggerated and lifetime cost benefits over-looked. Surely keeping the Park free of industrial development for future generations is a price worth paying.

We think a public inquiry by the Scottish Executive is required so all these issues can be addressed.

Click on What You Can Do to support the campaign
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