Energy firm releases confidential details of raptor breeding sites

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AN energy firm has admitted accidentally revealing the locations of breeding sites used by endangered birds of prey.

 

EDF disclosed the sensitive information in documents about their Fallago Rig wind farm in Roxburghshire.

 

The details of where the merlin falcons breed was included “in error” by environmental consultants working for the firm.

 

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The disclosure of the information raised concern that the birds could be targeted by wildlife criminals.

 

The Fallago Rig 2 Scoping report assessed the environmental impact of adding a further 17 turbines to the site and was published on the company’s website as well as being circulated by CD.

 

The chair of Lammermuir community council, Mark Rowley, hit out at EDF for their mistake.

 

He received a copy of the document and his requests to have it removed were ignored several times.

 

It wasn’t until he copied in Scottish Government Ministers into his email that EDF removed it from the website.

 

Mr Rowley said: “EDF have effectively published a visitor’s guide to the Lammermuirs for egg collectors and other wildlife criminals.

 

“They have put schedule 1 breeds, including some of our most iconic moorland birds, including merlin, in jeopardy before even an acre of habitat is destroyed.”

 

A spokesman for RSPB Scotland said: “We do not know the full detail of what appears to have been unwittingly released, but this incident demonstrates that developers need to be very careful about the nature of information that they put in the public domain.

 

“It seems like EDF have now rectified their error, but it is unfortunate that some who still wish to harm wildlife make it a necessity to be so careful with this sort of information.”

 

The blunder could have added to the recent death toll of raptors in Scotland some of which have included incidents of deliberate poisoning.

 

A spokesman for EDF said they were aware that “an incorrect version if its scoping report for the proposed Fallago Rig 2 Wind Farm was released in error by our environmental consultants to statutory consultees as part of the early consultation process”.

 

The spokesman added: “All statutory consultees are being contacted to ensure the incorrect version is returned to our consultants and new, correct versions will be sent to them as soon as possible.

 

“This confidential annex should have only been included in the scoping reports to the nature conservation consultees and the planning authorities.

 

“This information should not be released into the public domain.”

 

The company has since re-written the report and asked for the return of the CDs containing the sensitive material.

 

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