Sunday, 24 July 2011

Windfarm Accident for seals?

So, there I am thinking that my seal rescue has nothing to do with Accidental Nature. It seems I must think again. Now, this is not down to scientific fact, just a brief conversation, but listen to this.....

Windfarms are being built off the Kent coast at a rate of knots. The picture here is the view from my house and it shows one of the largest off-shore windfarms in Europe, all part of that Kentish eco-energy effort. Good news for carbon emmissions but what effect are these structures having on the sea in which we've put them?

Well, the brief tit-bit of Accidental Nature I've heard is that chalk reefs are beginning to build up around the turbines. As they do the seabed becomes more shallow, that means more fish, and more fish means - more seals. Seal numbers having been rapidly increasing around here in the last decade and there are no doubt many complex reasons as to why, but if building windfarms is one of them then what a superb piece of Accidental Nature. It might make up for the impact that turbines are suspected of having on birds in flight and noise pollution. I know I am touching on dangerous ground with this, wind turbines create a lot of hostilty from wildlife groups, but if there is a positive to be found in them then lets celebrate it because one thing is for sure, we're going to see an awful lot more of them as the UK has to chase it's targets for reductions in carbon emissions. 

So, the fact that I now see seals on a weekly basis, sometimes daily, in a seaside town that delivered no such delights as a child, could be related to windfarms. It is certainly a sign that more seals are breeding here. In turn that means it becomes more likely the folk living round here are going to find young pups washed up on the beach, like our little lady from yesterdays rescue. So, the seal rescue does have a link to Accidental Nature after all, as, I believe, so much of our natural history does if we take the time to look at how our social history fits into the world about us.

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