Christine on Ash Down
This photograph was taken up on Ash Down, part of the Fullabrook Down windfarm site, that stretches almost from Ilfracombe to Braunton. 

A walk round Devon

In May 2006 I did a walk around some of the most unspoilt countryside in Britain, now threatened  with industrialisation by wind power stations.  I did the walk partly because I was tired of the way that it is always presumed that anyone who is "Green" will be in favour of giant wind turbines. These massive structures degrade the landscape, kill birds and bats, and do very little to either solve our energy problem. or reduce CO2 emissions. 

Following the walk,  I held an Exhibition of paintings in July 2007 called "A walk round Devon" at the Queen`s Theatre in Barnstaple

Some of the people I met, and places I walked through

start at brent tor, photo by Nic Randall
The start at Brent Tor - with supporters from groups such as WIFLAG, ODAT, BLOT the Dartmoor Preservation Association, CPRE and others, plus Henry Lewis, who wrote The Wind Thing.
James and Sandy Lovelock
My father, scientist James Lovelock, and his wife Sandy on their way home after joining me on the walk
with Nick harvey at Fremington
With Nick Harvey MP at Fremington Quay, looking across at the proposed Fullabrook Down Wind Farm Site, which could turn the Taw Estuary into a wind-farm landscape.
With Geoff Cox near Okehampton
With Geoffrey Cox MP at a barbecue welcoming me to Bowerlands, close to the proposed Yelland Wind Farm Site, on a ridge close to Yes Tor, one of Dartmoor`s highest peaks .
Batsworthy Cross
The giant version of my Batsworthy Cross painting made by local campaigners at the  "Big Art Event" in Rose Ash Village hall

hen and chicks near quince Hill
Hen and chicks, beside a lonely road near Rose Ash
and the proposed Batsworthy Cross Wind Farm Site (there are at least six different sites being proposed  around this edge of Exmoor)
meeting some of the Denbrook supporters
Having tea with some members of the Denbrook group fighting the 9 x approx 400ft turbines in a beautiful valley near North Tawton

Street Theatre in Torrington
Street Theatre in Great Torrington before the performance of The Wind Thing at the Plough Arts centre - followed by a debate about wind power.

Why I did the walk

By most definitions, I think I can say that I have always been  "Green". I led a  "Save the Whales" protest  back in 1970, before Greenpeace began, before being "Green" was fashionable. No one even understood what we were on about as we stood outside the Japanese Embassy with our placards (they thought we were trying to save Wales.)
I do not own a car, I walk nearly everywhere, or use the bus, I do my best to live in a manner that does as little harm to the Earth as possible.  On the walk I wanted to wear something that was symbolic of all that I care about, something that was clean, and green, and symbolised the unspoilt Earth. That is why I chose to wear a shirt and cap bearing the  Logo of Country Guardian, an organisation that fights to preserve our hills and wild places for future generations to enjoy.
Another reason for my walk was to raise awareness of the scale of the wind turbine threat. Few people realise quite what devastation is in store for our countryside if  government targets are met. We  have all become a bit cynical about government targets, but when it comes to Wind Power it seems that the Green Party and  Friends of the Earth and many other normally cynical organisations  have become great cheerleaders for the government on this issue. As Henry Lewis brilliantly showed in "The Wind Thing", how easy it is to be taken in by the glossy brochures produced by Wind Energy salesmen!
On the walk I met many people who felt the same as I do about this issue, people like Keith and Jennifer Howes who live off grid and have a small wind turbine but oppose the large ones, people like Henry Lewis, the playwright, who also manages to live without a car, my father, who taught me to love the Earth from earliest childhood, and numerous people whose lives will be blighted if these giant structures are built.  They were all so kind, and hospitable, and I want to thank them all for putting me up, and feeding me, and making me feel at home. 

Four of the paintings from the Exhibition:

North Tawton
Dartmoor from NorthTawton
Brent Tor
The church of St.Michael de Rupe, Brent Tor, near Dartmoor
Daisies at Darracott Reservoir
Daisies at Darracott
Great Torrington
trees on Tarka Trail
Trees on the Tarka trail