I was in Oxfordshire the other week taking a look at the Uffington Horse, a huge prehistoric horse figure marked on a hillside in chalk, when I looked down from the ancient slopes and spotted three wind turbines.
Being in Farnborough, Hampshire, we don't have any wind turbines down here, although there is one powering a business park about 10-15 miles away at Reading in Berkshire. So you can imagine my delight at knowing I was not far from seeing my first wind turbines close-up. What's more, I was wearing my favourite Mono Turbine t-shirt, so it was almost as if I was destined to see these great pieces of engineering.
I drove a little way from the Uffington Horse in search of the wind generators and found them in a field which was nicely marked with an informative sign. I was standing before Westmill Windfarm and took a stroll nearer to satisfy my curiosity.
No, these windfarms are not noisy. The periodic "swoosh" as the blade spins past was all I could hear with the faint hum of the equipment at the base of the tower. The main tower was 50 metres high and the blades are 30 metres in length, so when the blades are pointing straight up the whole setup is 80 metres or approximately 240 feet high. That's impressive.
It was genuinely awe inspiring to see these wind turbines and I think it would be even more impressive to see a huge windfarm, but we'll have to wait for that one :)