Tuesday May 16th 2006
Wheelers Cross and walk back to Marie`s
update on Wheeler's Cross)
wasn`t disturbed by any noise in the night. Mrarie said
of the bungalow are thick rock, with a cavity, and it is double
glazed, so you can`t really hear the turbines indoors, with the windows
shut. It also depends on
which way the wind is blowing. One of the problems with wind
turbine noise is that sometimes it is worse when you are further away
from the turbines, it depends on a number of factors, like the strength
and the direction of the wind, so that you can visit a wind farm on a
certain day, and think maybe it is no problem. Your house may be
situated in such a way that you don`t suffer badly - but that doesn`t
help your neighbour, who does.
From the diary:
went fast, with many phone calls, and time spent talking with Marie.
I like her so much. In some ways I felt we had many things in common,
like me she is a woman happy living on her own – she has five
grown-up children. She has been so kind and thoughtful, and gone to
so much trouble to get in the food she thought I would like, I am
very grateful to her.
One of the
phone calls was from Adam Wilshaw, of the North Devon Journal. I
talked to him as I looked at the view of the turbines through the
kitchen window. He told me his girl-friend was doing the Art Trek in
North June for the North Devon Festival (I took part in the first Art
Trek in 2004 then organised it in 2005 before handing over to Stella
Levy who was organising it for 2006. During the walk I was going to
visit several Art Trek artists who supported what I was doing) All
three were turning now. A white van was parked beneath them.
A woman who lives at Wheelers
Cross, on the other side of Bradworthy,
had planned to invite a whole group of people over to meet me at two,
with the Press and a “stirrup cup” for those who wanted it, but
it was cancelled at the last minute because her husband had become
very ill.Sarah Payne
rang too. We weren`t sure quite what to do about Wheelers Cross, but
in the end we decided to go over there anyway. I went in the car with
Marie, because we were running late, but said I would walk back
an interesting drive, through tiny lanes with overgrown banks. We didn`t
know what to expect because nearly everyone, including
Press, had been told it was cancelled, but in the end a few people
still turned up to meet us at the Wheelers Cross cross-roads.
The cross roads
faced the field where the wind farm is proposed. It was full of wild
flowers, presumably set-aside. The photograph on the left is of Marie,
with Paris, by the gate to the turbine fieldLooking across it you could
Bradworthy church, the village, and on the south side you could see
the turbines on the hill, restlessly turning in the wind. It was
obvious that if these were built as well, Bradworthy would become a
One of the
people I met there was a man called Mike, a farmer who lived just by
Wheelers Cross. He said that although the Forest Moor turbines are
three and a half miles away as the crow flies he gets strobe effects
from them in his house. He also told me that one night he and his
wife were up near the turbines, with a cow that was calving, and the
noise the turbines made was so loud that they could not hear one
another speak. When I said that they had been quite quiet while I was
at Marie`s, people told me that the noise is variable, and
on wind direction. Click for more about noise.
Mike said that
the field where they planned to put the turbines was very boggy land,
and he was concerned about the amount of concrete that they would
need to use – these turbines would be 410 ft high, 150 foot higher
than the Forrest Moor ones. Presumably the bases would have to be
very big, and then there would be access roads as well. He was
worried too about the effects this would have on the watercourses,
and the village of Sutcombe in a valley to the south.
a while, talking to everyone, and I videoed the conversation and took
photographs. Click on the thumbnail at the right for a larger version
of the image. Sarah took some too and said she would email them to
David for the website. She and Marie were both members of BLOT, the
group that fought and lost the battle for Bradworthy. She said they
needed to start a group quickly at Wheelers Cross, and get organised.
They told me about someone who had lived near Forrest Moor and moved
from there because they didn`t want to be near the turbines. They had
bought a house at Wheeler`s Cross. This story highlights how
difficult it is to escape being near turbines.
around four, I left, and walked home to Marie`s via tiny roads and
tracks that were a delight. I met no one, although I did see a man in
the distance, taking a herd of cows into a farm. I stopped to take
more photos then suddenly found my batteries were running out, which
The walk back
to Marie`s was about five miles long, but – as arranged earlier –
near the end of it, I stopped off at
Astro Adventures (click to read about this)
The lane is very
pretty. Ashley Gray rang on my mobile. I started talking to him, but
kept losing reception, in the end I had to go up and down the road to
maintain it. I finally arrived back at Marie`s at about 7.
She was just
ready to dish up, and we had a lovely meal of cold ham, salad and new
potatoes, eating on our laps as we watched Emmerdale. I was now –
after just one exposure – quite hooked on the plot. Would she
realise what her husband was up to? And would I get another chance to
watch it while en the walk? (No)
Jane Faust rang
at 9 and I took the phone outside to see if she could hear the
turbines (that wasnt very successful). There was a strong swishing
sound, and also a hum, now that the wind was in a different
direction. I noticed that it got louder rather than quieter when I
was behind a tree yet close to Marie`s house – it was a strange
effect. Now that they were facing me, I found it more unsettling
visually, the beak-like nacelles gave them a life-like presence, as
if they looming towards me in a threatening way.
watching them, and videoing them, once she had said goodbye. Suddenly
– I wish I had caught it on the video – there was a sudden very
loud noise, like screeching metal. For a moment I thought there had
been a car crash on the nearby road, ar a plane had fallen out of the
sky – it was that loud, and sudden, I almost jumped out of my skin.
Then I realised it must have been the “feathering” noise that
Marie and Barry had mentioned.
I went to bed
at 10.30, and wrote my diary before falling oversleep over it."