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For Peat's Sake - Save Hoddlesden Moss

Last modified: 19 July 2016

Close up of short-eared owl in flight

Short eared owl in flight

Image: Nigel Blake

RSPB campaigns to prevent wind farm plan that could destroy rare habitat and harm bird life

The RSPB is calling on Blackburn with Darwen Council to reject plans for a wind farm at Hoddlesden Moss as it poses a serious threat to nationally important moorland habitat and wildlife.

Hoddlesden Moss, Darwen is part of the West Pennine Moors – an area that the Government’s nature conservation adviser, Natural England, has said it plans to protect as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its rare breeding birds and peatlands.

However, the protection hasn’t been put in place yet, leaving the site vulnerable to the potentially damaging planning application. The RSPB agrees renewable energy is important, but it has to be built in the right place – and Hoddlesden Moss is not it.

Jeremy Sutton, the RSPB’s Conservation Officer for North West England, explains: “The West Pennine Moors are covered in blanket bog, a globally rare peat habitat, which takes thousands of years to form. Peatlands are a precious resource in the UK; they lock up millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide but will release it quickly back into the atmosphere if the land is disturbed, contributing to climate change.

“Moreover, with many rare birds such as short-eared owls and merlins making the moor their home, turbines too close to the breeding grounds could stop them from nesting there again.”

The RSPB is formally objecting to the wind farm proposal and is also asking local people who care about nature to join the fight save Hoddlesden Moss. The Council recently launched a public consultation that people need to respond to by Wednesday 27 July.

Jeremy continued: “The Council has already rejected another planning application for the same wind farm, and last year the Government said that onshore wind farms must have the backing of the local community before they can go ahead. Together we can save Hoddlesden Moss.”

If local people wish to object to the Hoddlesen Moss wind farm proposal they can find out how by visiting


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