Conflicting Environmental Visions of the Rural: Windfarm Development in Mid Wales

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Abstract

The development of wind turbine power stations in rural locations has become an increasingly controversial issue with conflict revolving around representations of nature and the balance that should be struck between the preservation of a local environment and landscape, and the wider concern of tacking climate change through reducing fuel dependency. As such, conflicts over ‘windfarm’ development provide a rare insight into how political actors negotiate and rationalise the often closed relationship between nature, environment and rurality that lies at the core of much contemporary rural policy and planning strategy. This paper explores these themes through examination of the debate that surrounded proposals to build Europe's largest ‘windfarm’ at Cefn Croes in Wales. By deconstructing the rhetoric employed by both sides in the conflict, the paper demonstrates how ‘nature’ is constructed in different ways to allow both lobbies to claim the environmental high ground, how lay discourses are contrasted with technical discourses, and how landscape is connected to the changing rural economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-288
Number of pages18
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2003

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