Visit Wales Now

Visit Wales and see some dramatic changes to the landscape

Building an access road through a peat bog on Forestry Commission Land at Cefn Croes.

National Parks and Forestry Commission woodlands

 Are National Parks safe from wind farm development?

Not really. National Parks are not considered appropriate sites for wind power installations and so far there are no wind turbines in the National Parks of Wales. However, the Welsh Assembly has stated that it would allow development of wind farms producing less than 25 megawatts of power in the National Parks. A large modern turbine produces between 1.5 and 2 megawatts. So in theory we could see wind farms made up of at least 12 turbines, producing 24 megawatts, in our National Parks.

  Are Forestry Commission woodlands safe from wind farm developments?

Definitely not. Forestry Commission land is actually being targeted for wind farm development by the Welsh Assembly.

 Will wind farms be visible from National Parks?

Yes. Even if wind turbines are not built in National Parks, some of the proposed wind farms will be visible from these areas. For example, the developers for the Blaengwen wind farm in Carmarthenshire showed in their Environmental Statement that the ten 363-foot (110.5-metre) turbines, to be built at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet above sea level, would be visible from parts of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The Welsh Assembly has also identified an area referred to as Coed Morgannwg, just south of the Brecon Beacons National Park, as suitable for the installation of 290 megawatts of wind power (about 145 turbines).

  Snowdonia National Park

To the west of the park, in the Clocaenog Forest area, the Welsh Assembly has identified a potential of 140 megawatts, or about 70 wind turbines.

To the south of the Park, there are two areas identified for development: Carno North, 290 megawatts (about 180 turbines); and Nant-y-Moch, 140 megawatts (about 70 turbines).

If these developments go ahead, they will most likely have a visual impact on Snowdonia National Park - see below for the names of the preferred developers.

This photograph shows a simulation of what a 27-turbine wind farm would look like in the Clocaenog Forest. What the photograph does not show is that very few of the trees will remain after the turbines are installed.

  The total area of Clocaenog Forest is approximately 14,000 acres, of which about 3,500 acres would be clear-felled for turbines. So wind ‘farming’ will destroy and industrialise one quarter of the forest.  

 

What happens when wind farms are built on woodland?

Wind turbines and trees are not compatible. Trees are cut down to make way for access roads into the site and for the pylons carrying electricity from the site. Trees are also cleared from a large area around each turbine in order to reduce wind interference.  

 

 

 

Tree clearing at Cefn Croes

 

Brechfa Forest

The ancient Brechfa Forest, a popular tourist destination in Carmarthenshire, has been earmarked by the Welsh Assembly for about 90 megawatts of wind-generated electricity. This equates to around 45 to 50 turbines, about 300 to 400 feet high. Current plans by the developers RWE-Npower and RES have increased this to about 70 turbines. Click here to access the Forestry Commission's website on the forest.

For the latest news on what is happening in the forest click here and here 

In November 2008, the Forestry Commission announced their preferred developer in each Strategic Search Area (SSA) in Wales, as defined in TAN8*:

 

TAN 8 SSA

Area

MW planned

Preferred developer

A Clocaenog Forest 140 Npower
B Carno North 290 Scottish Power
C Newtown South 70 No bids, no plans
D Nant-y-Moch 140 Airtricity
E Pontardawe 100 Nuon
F Coed Morgannwg 290 Nuon
G Brechfa Forest 90 Npower

* TAN8 = Technical Advice Note 8: Planning for Renewable Energy, published by the Welsh Assembly, July 2005. 

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