MY LADY OF THE WILDERNESS - by Duncan Harley


I am hugely relieved that the defamation action against Andy Wightman MSP brought by Wildcat Haven Enterprises has been settled in his favour.
Mr Wightman had been pursued for damages of £750k following allegations that the conservation business had suffered loss due to his comments on social media and in his blogposts.
Seemingly Lord Clark has ruled that none of Mr Wightman’s comments were defamatory and Mr Wightman has been quoted as saying that the action should have never have been brought against him.

The Court of Session judge noted that Wildcat Haven was ‘engaged in a genuine scheme aimed at the conservation of wildcats run by well-intentioned and enthusiastic individuals.

I have to wonder what all the fuss was about though - but I'm sure that all will eventually be revealed on Andy's blog @:  http://www.andywightman.com/

Here meantime, for what its worth, is an extract from chapter 11 of my recent book – The Little History of Aberdeenshire in which I wrote about Wildcat Haven's Clashindarroch initiative:

‘Aberdeenshire’s Clashindarroch Forest is the home to both turbines and wildcats. When Swedish energy giant Vattenfall announced plans to expand the existing Clashindarroch windfarm near Huntly, campaign group Wildcat Haven raised objections. Citing statistics suggesting that the forest was home to around 13 of the estimated 35 remaining endangered pure-bred Scottish wildcats left in the wild, they raised concerns that the species would be driven even nearer to extinction if the clear-fell required to build the new wind-farm was given the go ahead. With headlines screaming “Wildcats at risk of being wiped out by windfarm” a petition launched by the campaign group quickly gathered over 200k signatures.

In a bid to conserve one of the last habitats of the threatened mammal, the environmental activist group are offering plots of Clashindarroch forest-land for sale. Seemingly, for a mere £30 per square foot, purchasers can not only protect the endangered moggies but can style themselves Lord or indeed Lady of the Wilderness and in doing so can establish a safe-haven for what is a species teetering on the very brink of extinction.

Both Vattenfall and Forest Enterprise Scotland however disagreed with the protest-groups environmental stance citing a track record of sensitive and sustainable specious management. Vattenfall project manager Alison Daugherty went on record to say that “the wildcat population in Clashindarroch Forest is unaffected by our four-year old operational windfarm” while a spokesperson from Forest Enterprise pointed to their important role in carrying out actions which “conserve wildcats and other important species.”

The thirteen resident wildcats of Clashindarroch have yet to make their views public and many supporters doubt that the threatened mammals can afford the £30 fee required to secure ownership of their forest-haven ...


The Little History of Aberdeenshire - by Duncan Harley is published by The History Press @ £12 and is available via Amazon in hardback.


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