AN anti-wind farm campaigner yesterday said Caithness school children should not be involved in what she described as "a propaganda war."
Linda Holt, of Scotland Against Spin, hit out at a plan to get local pupils to name 21 wind turbines at the Baillie wind farm.
"I feel very strongly that children should not be used in what is a propaganda war. They should not be involved," she said.
Her stance was endorsed by the chairman of the Caithness Wind Information Forum Stuart Young.
"Tom Pottinger — a local farmer and director of Baillie Wind farm Ltd — is being extremely clever. It is very good PR and you have to admire him for that," Mr Young told the John O’Groat Journal.
But he added: "It would be much more admirable if he informed them what it is costing them and their parents and the poor people who live there."
Mr Young claimed youngsters are being "brainwashed" at school and told about the advantages of green energy "without hearing the other side."
Asked if CWIF is failing to get its argument across, he replied: "It is difficult to get the message across until people are confronted with the problem on their own patch. We have been around for a while and you can only say the same thing so many times. People have to find out for themselves."
He added: "If Tom Pottinger is as nice as he is being portrayed why is he putting the people of Spittal Hill — subject to a revised application for eight turbines — through the mill again."
The schoolchildren are being invited to take part in the competition to which is being launched to coincide with tomorrow’s Global Wind Day.
Children aged five to 12 who live or go to school in Caithness are being asked to suggest a name for one of the turbines along with a drawing, poem, painting or story which explains their suggestion.
Plaques bearing the chosen names will be mounted permanently on the turbines, which together could produce enough energy annually to power 35,000 homes. Winners will also receive a £50 Love2Shop Gift Voucher as well as a Baillie Wind Farm goody bag.
Mr Pottinger said: "This is a very exciting competition for local children which offers the opportunity for them to add their own personal touch to a site which will be part of the community for many years to come. We’re looking forward to considering all the suggested names, which could include a character from Scottish history, a community hero or a friend or family member which children would like to honour."
Entries to the competition, which has a deadline of August 20, should be emailed to :firstname.lastname@example.org or as a hard copy to Name The Turbine Competition, Baillie Wind Farm, by Shebster, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7RA.