Windfarm, Glens of Foundland near Huntly, Grampian Area ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Onshore wind energy

Scottish Natural Heritage supports onshore wind farms that are sited in the right locations.

Our general advice on wind farm development highlights the many and varied potential impacts of wind farm proposals. Developers should use the guidance to design and assess schemes.

We support a plan led approach to onshore wind farm development.  We’ve developed guidance to support planning authorities to deliver this: Spatial Planning for Onshore Wind Turbines – natural heritage considerations.

Birds can be badly affected by wind farm construction and operations. Death, direct habitat loss and displacement are potential impacts. Developers must carry out collision risk modelling and assess impacts on birds beyond the site.

Wind farms can also affect Scotland’s landscapes. Developers should assess the potential impacts to ensure that wind farms are sited and designed to have minimal effects.

Good practice during construction will prevent pollution and avoid hydrological issues among other things.

Peat bog should be restored if a wind farm site is later decommissioned.