IT’S an epic challenge that’s been going for well over 30 years, traverses the width of Powys and encapsulates much of its breathtaking scenery – but supporters fear Rotary Across Wales Walks could be ruined by 720-foot tall wind turbines.

Hundreds of people took part in this year’s walk on Saturday, June 22, beginning in Machynlleth, and ending 46 miles later in the east, at Montgomery.

One breathtaking section of the walk takes in 16 miles from Machynlleth to Staylittle, with the route passing through the Glaslyn nature reserve, embedded in the Cambrian Mountains.

But green energy giants Bute Energy want to build 26 220-metre turbines proposed as part of plans for the so-called Esgair Galed Energy Park.


This weekend, members of campaign group Protect Hafren and Glaslyn are organising a community hike to Glaslyn, in a bid to highlight their opposition to the proposals.

“This walk is such an integral part of the summer here in Mid Wales, having been going for 35 years,” said Melinda Fansa, replying to a post on the Rotary Across Wales Walk Facebook page following this year’s event.

“Bute Energy are proposing to build a giant wind farm which would destroy this amazing area of the Cambrian Mountains between Glaslyn and Hafren, our Eryri.

“If you want to help stop this join our community hike on Sunday, July 7, to show the huge local opposition to this awful proposal.”

Satch Norton, in response, said: “Imagine walking through 220-metre tall wind turbines, huge pylons, electric sub-stations.

“Bute Energy and the Welsh Government plan to destroy this place and much of our precious uplands with their proposed windfarms, pylons and sub-stations, making electricity for England.”

 The view towards Glaslyn Nature Reserve.The view towards Glaslyn Nature Reserve. Pic: Sally George.

Neville Fox added: “Well done to the walkers, great achievement. But as others have already pointed out, the wildest stretch of this walk is in danger of being covered in 720-foot tall wind turbines.

“Bute Energy must be stopped from wrecking what remains of the last Mid Wales wilderness.”

This weekend’s hike will begin at the ruins of St David’s Church car park, next to the old Star Inn, in Dylife. The walk, roughly 8 miles, will head to Glaslyn and back to Dylife.

Bute Energy said it had chosen the site to build the Esgair Galed Energy Park, near Llyn Clywedog, because of its “technical and environmental suitability, optimal wind speeds and there are established wind developments in the area”.

Bute also claims the project will deliver significant benefits to the local community, including an annual Community Benefit Fund worth around £1.2 million.

But the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust described proposals as “hugely worrying”.

Last week, controversial plans for a weather mast in the region went before Powys councillors for a second time in three months after they voted against the first version of the application in March – going against the advice of planning officers.