SGA request for Scottish wind farms to be monitored
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) refuses claims that its members are to be blamed for the increase in the disappearance of birds of prey and other protected birds.
Instead, the SGA argue the recent impact made on Scottish wildlife is due to the increase number of windfarms, and that this has gone unreported.
The association has requested that the monitoring around turbines is tightened in order for accurate information and knowledge about what is really happening to birds.
Gamekeepers on grouse moors were suspected following a report this year that announced the disappearance of 41 out of 131 tagged eagles in Scotland over a period of 12 years.
According to Scottish Natural Heritage, the majority of the birds disappeared on land, and so they made no connections to the wind farms.
The SGA was not satisfied with this ruling, and along with the increasing number of windfarms in the highlands, that have announced what they feel is their duty to intervene in the argument.
This follows the RPSB’s fight against the Forth and Tay wind farms, which was overturned last week.
“A code for ongoing monitoring of wind farms, for wildlife impacts would be helpful. Checks exist but are inconsistent and organised by operators themselves, often using maintenance crew. There is no statutory duty to report bird collisions in Scotland,” commented Alex Hogg, SGA Chairman.
“We said at the time we were not convinced by the wind farm element of the satellite tagged eagle report but we didn’t want to detract from our condemnation of illegal behaviour,” he added.
“We have, ourselves, expelled six members in five years for wildlife crime convictions. However, we disagreed, and still do, with the report’s assumption there would be little motive for wind companies not to report downed birds.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.