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Preserving a multi-period landscape“….. So what does that mean to you? Conserving? Keeping safe from harm? Defending? Probably, if you read it quickly.

But what if it is said about the work of the archaeological consultants of a windfarm company –  See here . You might need to read the whole piece a little more carefully – and only then would you find, tucked away almost at the end, the phrase

“The dataset therefore constitutes an invaluable research tool and an unparalleled means of preserving the landscape of 21st century Caithness by record.”

So it’s not about preservation at all. It’s about rendering that multi-period landscape extinct  – other than as some bytes in an electronic file. To headline that reality as “Preserving” is kind of careless. Tarmacian even! And hardly in the spirit of the IfA bylaws. It’s bad enough that hardly a day goes by without another windfarm being judged more important than the heritage it is replacing and that the government is sticking to it’s presumption in favour of sustainable development but should insult be added to the public’s injuries by using words that make them think they have lost nothing? It seems greedy, when the consultants are getting the benefit of being able to demonstrate a job well done and the windfarm company has got 100% of what it wanted!

(Incidentally the article even carelessly says the survey “was designed to record the setting of the Baillie Hill windfarm prior to its construction”. No it bloody wasn’t. Unbuilt windfarms don’t have settings and the only “setting” that was there prior to the construction was the setting of one of the most important clusters of Neolithic funerary monuments in Caithness.)

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