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We’re Open To Fracking, Says National Trust Boss

Ben Webster, The Times

The National Trust is prepared to consider fracking on its land but has all but ruled out wind farms, according to the head of the conservation charity.

Dame Helen Ghosh, the trust’s director-general, said that it was keeping an open mind on drilling for natural gas and was waiting to see what evidence emerged about its environmental impact. She added that gas was “less bad” than coal in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Dame Helen’s stance on wind farms appears to have become more hostile since she said six months ago that “a wind turbine in the right place is a rather beautiful thing”.

In an interview with The Times yesterday, she said that she had been expressing a personal view, adding: “I think it is unlikely that we would ever promote or allow a wind farm on our land.”

Dame Helen said that the trust was very concerned about proposals for offshore wind farms visible from its land, including the 240-turbine Atlantic Array in the Bristol Channel and 218-turbine Navitus Bay off Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

David Cameron announced a significant shift in energy policy yesterday that could result in much lower targets for deploying wind turbines.

“We need to roll back some of the green regulations and charges that push up our bills,” he told MPs.

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