Kate Mavor, who is about to become the new Chief Executive at English Heritage, has come out strongly against wind farms saying that they desecrate historic landscapes.

She notes with dismay the way in which environmental impact statements have been ignored or manipulated to ensure that renewable targets are met. The cost of course of this flawed policy is the industrialisation of our countryside and heritage and while she notes that wind farms can have a part to play in meeting our targets, she feels that too often this has been at the cost of the special places which define our very being. She points out that there are alternatives and that these would reduce our need to harm much of what is special about our country.

Up until a few months ago the appointment of someone with such strong views would have been very good news for the future of heritage in England. Sadly the split of English Heritage into two parts means that her views are unlikely to make a huge difference with perhaps the exception of the small number of properties she will be responsible for looking after. National advice on how most of the heritage will be managed will be provided by the spin-off organisation Historic England who we now know see wind farms as a way of paying for conservation works and see the desecration of historic landscapes as a price worth paying for new interpretation boards.(See Sandy Gerrard’s recent article about their decision at Nine Maidens in Cornwall.)

Let’s be optimistic and hope that Historic England will listen to the concerns of the new Chief Executive at English Heritage and in the coming months we will be able to report on a change of emphasis – and even examples of heritage saved.