Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director at the National Trust, said: “We have committed to meeting half of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, reducing our overall energy use by 20%. We are playing our part in tackling climate change, which is a huge threat to special places.
RWE Innogy Ltd is proposing to develop a hydroelectric scheme on the River Conwy. We have agreed to allow a part of the renewable energy project to be built on our land.
This is not a National Trust project and the scheme could continue without our involvement. We feel that being actively involved in the scheme so far has however allowed us to influence the design and impact of the construction in a way that we believe has delivered an environmentally sustainable and aesthetically beneficial proposal.
We have fed into the hydro proposal and have consistently engaged with a broad range of stakeholders both locally and more widely on the proposals, including Snowdonia Society and Save Our Conwy. Our specific involvement has been in developing the design of the weir on Trust land and influencing the design of the turbine and outfall on neighbouring land. More recently we have also been advising on the protection of specific trees.
We recognise that standing aside from or opposing the scheme would not have stopped its development.
We have always been acutely aware that there are environmental and social impacts to consider and have carried out all the necessary due diligence that we can on the project. We have been further reassured that Natural Resources Wales, as the statutory consultee to the proposal, and as the government body responsible for protecting the environment and its natural resources, has assessed the potential impacts and made no objection so far to the scheme.
We will continue to act in good faith to all sides in this ongoing discussion and have an open mind with regards to any changes to the proposed development, or any new evidence. If we feel there is any substantive change in this matter then we will obviously reconsider our position.
August sees the first ever BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire which aims to celebrate all aspects of the British countryside.
The British coast and countryside are loved and admired around the world. But, behind the stunning scenery and breath-taking views, there are important questions and controversial issues affecting the future of rural Britain.
A series of thought-provoking debates on the most important issues affecting rural Britain is scheduled over the course of the four days in the National Trust Theatre.
Yesterday MPs voted in Parliament to allow fracking in National Parks.
Here is the response of the National Trust to this vote:
“The decision by MP’s to allow fracking to happen under National Parks does nothing to allay our real concerns about the impact of fracking on some of the most precious landscapes in the UK. The Trust stands by its call for the Government to rule out fracking in the most sensitive areas – protected wildlife areas, nature reserves and national parks – and make them frack-free zones. There is a need to ensure that regulations offer sufficient protection to our treasured natural and historic environment.”
“There is an urgent need for more evidence about the impact of fracking on the hydrology, ecology and geology of landscapes. This is needed for informed decision-making about any future for fracking in the UK.”
The National Trust is a member of a wider coalition of ten organisations that published a report called ‘Are we fit to frack?‘
Climate change poses the single biggest threat to National Trust places, bringing new, damaging impacts to a natural and cultural environment already under pressure, and a growing conservation challenge to our houses and gardens. Find out what we’re doing and how it’s affecting our places in our new report, Forecast Changeable: Forecast Changeable Report
In her first major speech as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd has today set out the government’s approach to combating climate change.
A National Trust spokesperson said: “Climate change is having major impacts on the natural and historic environment. We aim to play our part in reducing emissions from our own activities through our renewables programme. We want to see strong leadership from the government abroad. This must be backed up by an ambitious set of polices to reduce emissions and the impact of climate change at home.”