As Ramblers we recognise the threat posed by climate change to the countryside we love to walk in, which could severely alter many of our cherished landscapes.
We support measures to reduce harmful emissions of greenhouse gases, including by increasing the amount of energy produced from a wide range of renewable sources.
Government should first prioritise energy efficiency and conservation, including walking for short journeys rather than using electric cars. Government should invest in micro-generation and community energy schemes that would have the least impact on people’s enjoyment of the countryside.
Renewable energy developments should be strategically planned for maximum generation with minimum impact. They should be sensitively sited and designed, with decisions based on robust landscape capacity, environmental and heritage impact assessments.
We support solar energy targeted in less obtrusive locations such as the rooftops of large commercial and industrial buildings, which also brings generation close to the point of demand. For large renewables developments, sensitive areas such as National Parks and AONBs should be avoided, with wind energy schemes concentrated offshore.
In planning renewable energy developments, every effort should be made to minimise the impact on people’s ability to relax and unwind in the countryside, which is important for health and wellbeing.
Local communities must have a central role in determining how their energy needs are met. Where developments are proposed in their area they must be properly consulted at the earliest opportunity and the appeal process should be rigorously applied.
Developers or owners must make provision for removing all infrastructure once it has come to the end of its life and commit to restoring the land to its previous condition.