Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dutch energy company casts its spell over Merlin's grave!

Storm clouds over Mwdwl Eithin:Identified as the site of Myrddyn (Merlin's) grave and the location of a soon to be developed 11 turbine wind farm owned by Dutch company Nuon.

And up to that time he was called an ap y lleian and after that he was called Merdyn because he was found in Caer Vrdryn (Caer Fyrddyn). According to ‘The Dream of Macsen Wledig', Caer Fyrddyn is so named because it had been built by a ‘myriad of men’-Myrddyn is the Welsh word for myriad.

Myrddyn was subsequently rendered into Latin as Merlin......

Chapter 5: Merlin and Uther Pendragon ‘The Keys to Avalon’ Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd.

The historical figure who has been identified by historians as being the inspiration behind Merlin of Arthurian legend was in modern terms, a shaman or healer. A figure who in those days of future past was seen as someone blessed with magical powers.(Prif dewin Merddin Embrais-Chief Magician Myrddyn Emrys.)... 'Stanza of Graves'. In recent years this real life 6th century figure has seen his place of birth and final place of rest identified by historians using ancient Welsh manuscripts.

Born, it appears, in the area around what is now the attractive little mid Wales border town of Montgomery and buried on the bare heights of Mwdwl Eithin or as it was known as in the past, Cader Dinmael in north east Wales.( Note: there are two Mwdwl Eithins (Mountain of the Gorse) hereabouts within a few miles of each other)  This 1500’ peak is part of the sprawling  Hiraethog uplands which spread across from the Snowdonia National Park in the north to the Vale of Clwyd, The Arenigs and the Berwyns in the south, east and west.
Unfortunately, this beautiful  and sparsely populated area has been identified by politicians and their corporate masters as a perfect area for wind farm development.

Several wind farms have already been built and many more are in the pipeline. It's remarkable how in environmental terms the ‘rush for wind’ is reminiscent of the ‘rush for water’ which in the early sixties, led to the destruction of the village of Capel Celyn and the flooding of an exquisite valley which had inspired artists of international renown.(See The Drowning Season)
As the crow flies, Capel Celyn is no more than six or seven miles from Mwdwl Eithin, however both locations have fallen under the dark spell of human greed and ignorance. You see, the site identified as that of Merlin’s grave is soon to be trashed by bulldozers and heavy plant machinery. Tracks will be gouged out of the earth; massive flat bed lorries will spin and churn their way up the mountainside, laden with massive steel shafts and turbine heads. Borrow pits or quarries will be opened up and power lines, sub stations and service roads will blight the land.

A toxic perfect storm which consists of a greedy absentee landowner who owns a huge swathe of the mountain, the bovine subservience of local politicians under the thumb of the regional and London governments, and the unquenchable greed of a profit driven company-in this case the Dutch company Nuon- which will see ‘Merlin’s Mountain’ dotted with the latest generation of super turbines. 

The nearby German owned Wern Ddu Wind Farm. High on wide ranging visual impact-low on actual energy output.

It’s a damning indictment of western societies how little value we place on our heritage, culture and history and how much emphasis we place on profit. In any civilized society, these places would be cherished and protected, but  sadly, our politicians are simply fixated on the dynamics of our free market economy. In Orwellian terms ‘Profit= good’ , ‘unprofitable amenity (i.e.wilderness)= bad’.
The irony is of course is that these wind farms will produce no local jobs and apart from throwing a few grand at the local community council, they will bring no economic reward for local communities. They will of course bring rich rewards in terms of dividends for the shareholders of these mostly foreign based companies. Little wonder that, drunk on subsidies and with the local, regional and national legislatures and most of the media in their pocket, these hugely profitable companies can blitz their way across the wild places of the UK suffering  only the very occasional planning rejection.

Whether or not you believe the Arthurian legend is based on real life figures and events- and I for one I’m willing to accept that fanciful elements like Excalibur aside, the legend has a basis of truth- the fact remains that the legend is part of our culture and heritage. Politicians and the boardroom chums they serve, really have no moral right to bulldoze our fragile open spaces, either in the blatant pursuit of profit or in the deluded belief that they are actually acting in an ‘green’ and environmentally friendly manner. 

Myrddyn must be turning in his grave!

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