A truly disappointing day today. All 3 hydro schemes planned for the Wild Land area of Glen Etive have been approved by the Highland Council. 

Much of the councils discussion focused on the minutiae, details of stone cladding, or an access track. Amongst those that voted for the schemes to be approved there was little understanding of, or discussion around, the bigger picture. The ecological consequences of damming every tributary of a wild river, the precedent set by granting permission for development in an area designated as “Wild Land” and how run of river hydro’s contribution to tackling climate change is insignificant next to it’s impact on biodiversity. 

A massive thanks to those organisations who worked on objecting to these 3 schemes, including Cllr Andrew Baxter, Mountaineering Scotland John Muir TrustThe Rivers Trust Hydrowatchscotland Save Glen Etive Patagonia NRS Europe plus anyone who wrote a letter, signed a petition or shared a post. 

If there is a ray of light under this cloud it is that a new awareness has been raised in Scotland of the impact run of river hydro can have on our environment and a community has risen up to fight it. From here in Wales Save Our Rivers offers them all our support in the battles yet to come.

Words and image: Save Our Rivers