The wind farm at Darracott Moor above Great Torrington was planned for some time. At the end of February 2011 things started to happen. The site is near the reservoir to the North East of the town and near to the Huntshaw Cross TV tower. Access for large vehicles is difficult. The old road to Barnstaple via Alverdiscott is nothing but a lane and steep with tight bends. The other route, the chosen one from our observations, was through the town, probably from Bideford, then down School Lane and right into Bearhead. The is a straight road uphill past Bearhead Common on the left and the factory on the right. Past the factory it narrows to a single track. At the top we noticed the banks had been cut back to widen the turning arc for large trucks presumably. Half a mile of twists and turns and the site is reached. The photo at the left is the first sign of the wind farm over the horizon. There will be three turbines in total.
The first wind turbine rose above the horizon in the morning of 8th March 2011 (E&OE). By 1400 it had been assembled section by section with two mobile cranes. Three sections were lifted then topped by the turbine housing itself.
Our CCTV cameras have shown vehicle lights at around 1945 from the first week of March up on the top of Bearhead on several evenings and reckon that’s when the sections were moved up to Darracott. Walking up past Crowbeare farm I notice the lane has been made wider on the corners with big truck tracks out wide as well. Obviously the plan was to move stuff at night when the roads are quieter.
10th March and the first turbine is erected and the rotor fitted. There has been plenty of lights across the valley evening times and as we never see any unusual activity during the day we assume evenings is when all the parts are transported. The photographs are taken from our property near the town, sometimes through a window. Getting close to the action is not an option as the site has natural barriers for the casual viewer. To the sites North East is the TV tower area, no access. To the East is farmland and gaps in hedges show the site in a hollow. To the North on the lane where the site entrance is the hedge is very high. To the West we have a clear view but at some distance. Walking up Gas Lane there is one point where there is a clear view of the tower but the closer you get the hill blocks it out.