Shropshire Star

Fundraiser to fight Mid Wales pylon plans

Cake baking, face-painting and a cyber balloon race may all sound like fun.


But there was a serious message behind an event held by protestors fighting plans for pylons and wind turbines across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Campaign group Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (MAP)held the event to raise funds for its fight.

The group launched its virtual balloon race fundraiser at a coffee morning in Meifod Village Hall, near Welshpool.

Funds raised will be shared between MAP and Macmillan Cancer Awareness.

Balloon racers will pinpoint where they think their balloon would reach after a week-long cyber flight, due to begin on March 28.

A computer will log weather conditions and prevailing winds to decide what would have happened to a real balloon if it had been launched that day.

Jonathon Wilkinson, leader of MAP, said: "Our virtual balloon race is 100 per cent environmentally friendly because there are no real balloons. Traditional balloon races can be environmentally damaging.

"Even balloons which are released miles inland can be blown away, littering the countryside and leaving debris in the sea.

"When they fall into the sea, the bits can be mistaken for food by marine life and cause problems for turtles and sea birds. Virtual balloons cost £3 each. Go online at:

"People can buy as many balloons as they like, then personalise them by deciding on colour, thickness of balloon skin and amount of virtual helium. Each balloon has an individual activation code and people can follow the progress of their balloon online during the race week."

Money raised will be shared between Macmillan and the MAP fighting fund, which to date has seen members appear at the year-long public inquiry into plans for five wind farms in Mid Wales.

National Grid wants to construct the power line to connect proposed wind farms in Mid Wales to its north south line at Lower Frankton, near Ellesmere.

After initial consultations it has said that the line will be carried on pylons across Mid Wales and Shropshire apart from a section through the Meifod Valley which will be put underground.

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