Just a couple of months ago, whilst researching for this website the various wind farms of the South Pennines, I spent considerable time at Todmorden Moor staring closely at the massive turbines, considering the most ethical, legal way of effecting their removal from the moors forthwith. See my description of Todmorden Wind Farm, going so far as to describe it as "odious" and an "utter disgrace". In the small hours of June 3rd, one of the five turbines dramatically caught fire. As work at Crook Hill seemed non-existent for some reason this week (possibly related to the dramas at Todmorden), I thought it was time to pay a visit and see the charred remains of the turbine for myself. I caught the moors at sunrise, a magical time to witness the spectacle of a burnt-out wind turbine with my own eyes. Needless to say, it was a deeply moving, spiritual experience, basking in the overwhelming presence of Nature and all its mysterious powers. With Judgment Day approaching for the awful Rooley Moor Wind Farm proposal, the timing of the Todmorden fire was PERFECT!
Coal Clough & Reaps Moss
Todmorden Moor is located on the foothills of parent peak Thieveley Pike. To the north lies the stunning scenery of the almost Alpine Cliviger Gorge. Poking over the gorge are the turbines of Coal Clough Wind Farm, now in its second incarnation, complete with larger "monster" turbines. For a couple of decades, while it was the only wind farm in town, Coal Clough wasn't actually too obnoxious (back in those halcyon early 90s days when we all believed wind power was the future). Talk about jumping the shark... Meanwhile to the south lies Freeholds Top, hosting our very own Crook Hill Wind Farm. Before coming home, let's just pause next to the high pass between Thieveley Pike and Freeholds Top, where we can find yet another wind farm currently under construction, Reaps Moss.
The Majesty Of Freeholds Top
No greater honour could be bestowed upon this website than, once the turbines have been removed, to see Freeholds Top awarded status as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Such designation is not merely superficial adornment; it assures the stunning landscape's conservation and protects it against unwelcome industrialisation or corporatisation. In computer terms, AONB status is antivirus software - it prevents natural ecosystems from being infected by the aggressive Trojan Horse tactics of wind farm spammers and their malware. Unfortunately, right now the eastern edge of Freeholds Top (aka Crook Hill) is infected, but rest assured your system administrators are monitoring the situation closely and rapidly developing the security patch to get rid of this virus once and for all.
After the unexplained delays of the last couple of weeks, Partnerships For Renewables clearly started panicking, getting in their excuses early in this rather desperate sounding press release: "The team is in a race against time to ensure that all the deliveries to site are complete before scheduled roadworks commence at the Dunelm junction on the A671 on 15th July. With the delivery timetable dependent on a number of variables including the weather, availability of cranes to load the transporters at Immingham port and traffic levels on the motorway, it was becoming a close call that we would be able to make that date. We have therefore requested and been granted an extension to our delivery hours from the respective local authorities and the police." What this means is a request for permission to make up for lost time by delivering on Sundays. Although that would work well for the purposes of this website - I often visit the site on Sundays so I'd be able to get some cracking close-ups of the action - the actual legalities of this "permission" need looking into. After all, you can't trust a word these compulsive liars say. No deliveries were made this Sunday; all was quiet, still and shrouded in fog, creating ghostly silhouettes of the towering turbines.
Who Are These People?
Who are these people? What the hell are they doing to the moors? Why are they even here? Who let them do this? We didn't want them here. We don't like them being here. We just want them gone immediately and the moors left alone.
An "exclusion zone" has been set up around the burnt out turbine on Todmorden Moor. The atmosphere up there is strange, ethereal and post-apocalyptic, with the useless ex-turbine's blades flapping aimlessly in the breeze.
Business as usual this week, with the number of turbines erected on Crook Hill now up to six. Each huge turbine extends the visual blight of the wind farm that much further, and together with Reaps Moss, the adverse effect on Freeholds Top is now obvious. Poor old mountain - we want you to stand up for yourself and tell these sods where to go! We're sure you'll strike back just when you feel the time is right; we have total faith in the powers of nature. It's just a matter of being patient, which is very hard when you see the beautiful moors you love being defiled.
It beggars belief that when these wind farms were approved under the Labour government of 2005-2010. cumulative impact was not taken into account. Compare these photos of the Crook Hill access route now Reaps Moss is visible in the background with those taken just a few weeks ago. The devastation is unavoidable. Heads must roll for this eco-destruction, and I intend to make them. It's some comfort to see just how vehemently and swiftly the new government has pulled the plug on wind subsidies - MAYBE SOMEONE AT NUMBER 10 HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS WEBSITE?!
Access Track Latest
Nothing earth-shattering to report this week, just steady degradation of the environment around the access track.
Since the inception of this website the landscape has now transformed drastically (for the worse). Let's start by taking our regular route from Landgate and see what lies in store for us this week.
Reaps Moss Now Dominates The Skyline
The Ugly Mess That Is Crook Hill Wind Farm
Heartbreaking photos that show the full horror that has now unfolded. Could we have done any more to prevent this? Unfortunately not, due to the flawed political processes that led to this disaster. Still, Crook Hill is gallantly taking this one on the chin in order to demonstrate to the world the true nature of wind farms.
Finally, Some Good News!
Across the Whitworth Valley, the lofty heights of Rooley Moor live to fight another day, as Coronation Power's insane plans to devastate yet another moor were comprehensively rejected by Rochdale and Rossendale Councils. The cobbles of Rooley Moor Road will endure!
How Love Can Protect A Mountain
Crook Hill In The Community