Wind farms featured strongly in a recent three day conference in Cumbria on Art and the Landscape. It was opened by Arts Minister Lord Gowrie who commented that "wind farms can look sensational." Robin Grove White of the University of Lancaster identified wind energy as one of the three main new issues confronting those with an interest in landscape. He pointed out that some bodies such as the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) have been bitterly split by wind power. Hugh Babington Smith of the British Wind Energy Association, one of only two members of the wind industry present, commented that the politics and ethics of wind energy were discussed in surprising depth. "It was clear that the sheer visibility of wind energy provokes a much deeper degree of reaction than might have been expected." The delegates discussed the contribution that different disciplines such as the arts, anthropologists and archaeologists could make to wind schemes. They could bring elements to a project outside the wind industry's preoccupations with electricity supply, environmental benefit and economics, they concluded. The conference agreed that input by local artists could help build a sense of ownership among the local community and provide a way of reaching the roots of a community.
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