Telling Glastonbury festival goers about Yes2wind.com
At this year's Glastonbury festival I was one of the volunteers asking people to sign letters to support wind farms. This was part of Greenpeace's campaign to promote wind as a vital solution in the fight against climate change and to stop the threat of nuclear power. Festival-goers were asked to sign a letter of support for their local wind farm or Glastonbury's local wind farm which is proposed next to Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station.
I've done a lot of volunteering for GP before, so I wasn't nervous about public communication work, particularly at Glasto where everyone's so friendly. I didn't know much about the Yes2wind campaign beforehand, but we had comprehensive briefings and in the end I was pleased to have had the chance to learn about something so important.
The public were more interested in signing our letters than in the bribes we thought we'd need (lollys, badges, competitions) and so the job was simpler and easier than we'd all expected. In the end we collected over 1,200 letters in support of Hinkley - Glastonbury's local wind farm - and a total of over 2,000 letters for Hinkley and other wind farms around the UK. These will then be sent to local planning offices so that decision-makers can see visible support for wind projects on the ground.
The most interesting thing I learnt about public attitudes to wind was that while everyone knew that some people objected to windfarms on aesthetic grounds, of the thousands of people we talked to I only met one who didn't like the look of them himself. It reminded me that there is widespread public support for alternative energy technologies, and that although the anti-wind brigade make a lot of noise when a wind farm is planned in their neighbourhood, most of us would much prefer that to the alternative - a nuclear power station!
Graham Thompson, Greenpeace volunteer