Aberdeenshire farmers show roaring opposition to monster pylons

Local farmers took to their tractors on Sunday to protest plans for a 106km overhead pylon route through Aberdeenshire.
Communities gathered to show their support of the tractor run protest (Photo: Craig Wilson)Communities gathered to show their support of the tractor run protest (Photo: Craig Wilson)
Communities gathered to show their support of the tractor run protest (Photo: Craig Wilson)

The tractor run started at Crathes Hall and followed the proposed pylon route through Durris, Drumoak, Echt and Dunecht to Leylodge with affected communities gathering along the way in support.

Scottish & Southern Electricity Network’s (SSEN) proposal is to drive the corridor of 1500, 70-meter-high pylons, on average 300m apart, through the heart of Aberdeenshire.

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The pylons twice the height of average pylons – equivalent to a 23-storey skyscraper - will carry double Scotland’s national power demand.

The proposed electrical spine running from Kintore in Aberdeenshire to Tealing in Angus is designed to transport electricity produced from Scottish wind farms and export it to meet demand in England and Europe.

Deeside Against Pylons firmly asserts that, while its support Net Zero ambitions, this industrialisation of the Scottish countryside does not represent a fair or just transition for the communities which would be impacted.

The group believe that not only will it tarnish communities, negatively and permanently marring the landscape beyond recognition, as the line marches through thousands of acres of rich farmland - essential to our food security - bisecting Royal Deeside’s historical castle trail and disrupting multiple ecological habitats and rare species along the way - it is making people ill.

John Rahtz, chair of Deeside Against Pylons said: “The threat of this electrical spine is making the people who live in these rural communities unwell. People are reporting sleepless nights, anxiety and illness brought on by the sheer upset of it all. And it’s only just begun.“In other countries, including England, Germany and the US, alternative methods including undergrounding and subsea are used. We think this should be considered by SSEN but our voices are not being heard.

"We’re calling on the Scottish Government to hold SSEN to account and look for better alternatives, working together with communities, to find an approach which looks after these people, their landscape and their legacy.

“We support Net Zero ambitions, however we cannot support this proposal. This is an export power line for which Scottish communities are paying a disproportionate price.

"We call on the Scottish Government to reflect on the impact of this proposal and the lack of proportionality and to rethink this overhead pylon proposal with urgency.”

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Deeside Against Pylons Action Group supports all the local communities impacted by SSEN’s proposal to construct a 106km corridor, and specifically the villages of Dunecht, Echt, Drumoak, Durris and Crathes.

Further information is available by visiting www.deesideap.co.uk/

A spokesperson from SSEN Transmission said: “The Kintore-Tealing 400kV overhead line project is part of a GB wide upgrade of the electricity transmission network that is required to deliver energy security and net zero.

“We are committed to work with all stakeholders to minimise and mitigate environmental, community and land use impacts.”

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