A wildlife charity says erecting a wind turbine is “the single biggest step it can take to reduce its carbon emissions.”
The RSPB has submitted its planning application for a wind turbine at its UK headquarters in Sandy.
If approved by Central Beds councillors it will be situated in an area of acid grassland, which is attracting small songbirds and insects.
Paul Forecast, the RSPB’s regional director for eastern England, said that The Lodge is one of only three reserves which are suitable for a wind turbine. It was chosen because it has the largest offices and these will benefit from a direct electricity line from the turbine.
The electricity generated should power two thirds of the charity’s reserves.
Paul said: “We have been doing surveys and we are confident that there won’t be a risk to birds or bats in the area.
“Bats fly when there’s a relatively low wind speed and the turbine won’t be running at those times.
“Often birds that are struck by wind turbines are big, slow flying birds. We’ve been doing very thorough bird surveys to see the movement of birds that come across this site and we have small songbirds that won’t come into contact with it. We wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise the birds.”
Even a new road creates a risk of an animal being run over and if oil is pumped from the ground wildlife habitat has to be stripped back to do so, he added. Overall a turbine is the best option to help wildlife by reducing climate change.
Paul added: “We think climate change is the biggest threat to wildlife in the world.
“For example with wet springs birds are being flooded out of their nests. Insects aren’t emerging when birds are ready to feed their chicks.”
There is only room for one turbine at the reserve so it will not become a small wind farm.
The turbine will be 100m tall when the blade is pointing up, which is twice as tall as an electricity pylon and half the height of Sandy mast.
The RSPB has spoken with the people who run Sandy mast and they have been told that the wind turbine will not affect television signals.
You can find out more by attending a drop in session at The Lodge on Friday (September 13) or on Friday, September 20 in Potton Community Centre. Both will be from 3pm to 8pm. Paul added: “We want to do this with the support of the community.”