Chairman’s Letters

Chairman’s Letter No. 6

A huge thank you to everyone who responded to the first phase of the SSEN consultation on the proposed pylon line corridor through Dunecht, Echt, Drumoak and Durris. We understand that around 2000 objections were received by the 30 April deadline. This is a significant number and ensures our opposition to this plan is heard by decision-makers, loud and clear.

Latest on the consultation process

Immediately following the first round of consultation, on 1 May SSEN announced a delay to the second phase of consultation for the overhead line alignment (the actual position of the pylons). This will now take place later in the year, but no date has been confirmed yet. We are following this closely and will keep you updated.

It may be a coincidence but SSEN has also just published a document on the optimum design for running 400kV lines over oil and gas pipelines to avoid corrosion; there are several major pipelines in this area.

Consultations for the proposed substations will continue as planned.  The next consultation event for the proposed Hurlie substation (Fetteresso Forest, near Stonehaven) takes place at Drumlithie Village Hall on 11 June.

Raising awareness and building momentum

To continue to ensure our opposition is seen and heard to SSEN’s proposed industrial-scale, export power line through our communities, Deeside Against Pylons joined together with other groups in a protest at the Scottish Parliament on 2 May before joining the public gallery to listen to a debate on the involvement of the public in the decision making, led by MSP Tess White.  We hope this will lead to a full-scale Government debate to be called on this subject.

Holyrood Protest 2 May

This followed the success of our first community event, the Tractor Run, in April. Both events gained attention in various media and I’ve included some examples below.

Issues: Noise

We are currently researching deeper into the noise impact from the “Corona Effect” on overhead lines and the buzzing from substations. This has been a serious problem elsewhere.

Upcoming events

DAP Information Meeting and Q&A, Durris Kirkton Hall, Tues 4 June 7:30pm

Deeside Against Pylons and Crathes and Drumoak Community Council will share the latest updates on the consultation and related issues including health concerns, noise levels and more. This continues a series of information events held so far in Drumoak and Echt and is open to anyone; all are welcome.


Echt Show , Sat 13 July

The Echt Show was established in 1853 and is one of the oldest and most popular farming shows in the North-East. The site of the show, Echt Park and surrounding fields in the centre of the village, also now falls under the proposed route for the pylons and overhead lines. Deeside Against Pylons will have a stall at the show to share the latest updates and share our community spirit against these plans.



Please let me re-emphasise, we support net zero and the ambition to reduce our carbon footprint. What we do not support is industrialisation of our countryside and the disproportionate price our local communities will have to pay in terms of health and wellbeing for an industrial-scale pylon line through Scotland designed only to export power. We believe that SSEN should consider alternative methods to transmit this power, underground or subsea, as they are doing in other parts of Scotland and the UK.


We appreciate all the support you have given so far in this process. As we know, numbers matter! Please continue to join us at meetings, stay connected and help tell others. With your help, our collective voice will be heard.


John Rahtz

Chairman, Deeside Against Pylons


DAP in the Media:

Aberdeenshire protester warns we are frightenedat ‘super-pylons’ rally (

Group runs tractor protest against SSEN ‘super-pylons’ (

Aberdeenshire farmers hold ‘tractor run’ in pylon protest – BBC News

Aberdeenshire farmers show roaring opposition to monster pylons (

SSEN’s ‘monster pylon’ plan across Aberdeenshire prompts farmers’ tractor protest | STV News


Chairman’s Letter No. 5

A great turn out for the Tractor Run on Sunday. Thank you to all who participated and all who stood waving and cheering as the tractors drove past.  It received very supportive coverage on TV, radio and in the newspapers. At this stage it is all about spreading the word as far and as loud as possible. There are still many people who are either not aware or who assume it is a done deal; so please talk to everyone you can to raise awareness and help stop this destruction of our landscape.

Deeside Against Pylons is working with the other action groups along the length of the line to create one fully comprehensive objection document covering all possible issues.

We are particularly concerned about SSEN’s refusal to address the physical health and mental health issues arising from such high levels of power transmission. They say they are following current government guidelines and denying any level of knowledge within their own organisation about the risks associated with EMF. We are making a strong case to the UK and Scottish Government of the need to address the raised level of risk of leukaemia and cancer. It will come as no surprise that a meta analysis of all EMF related health studies showed the ones funded by Governments and Power Transmission organisations show no increased risk whereas other independently funded studies show an increased risk of 45%.

I know many find the proposed transmission plan, to say nothing of the proliferation of wind farms, substations and battery storage plans, to be worrying. Be of strong heart! The level of support for our cause is rising all the time, echoed across the country by many others similarly affected.

SSEN consultation deadline – 30 April

If you have not written your objection letter to the proposed pylon corridor you have until the end of April. Anyone of any age with a separate email address can send in their protest. The addresses of all to whom it should be sent and cc’d are on the DAPAG website.

Upcoming events

Thursday 2 May: We are arranging a protest at Holyrood on 2 May where Tess White, MSP, is leading a debate on the issue. Please attend if you can. Green issues certainly seem to be at the forefront in the Scottish Government at present.

TBA: ‘Walk the Line’ protest.

We have changed our plans for a long walk to avoid the safety concern of large numbers on our narrow lanes. A short walk is planned going from Durris, via Park Bridge and over the “Switchback road” then have a BBQ in the Glebe field.

Saturday 13 July Echt Show

DAPAG will have a stall at the Echt Show which will be right under the proposed overhead line route. Come along to get the latest news on SSEN’s plans.

Can I stress to all that this is not a campaign of wingeing NIMBYs; we believe that this amount of power generated in the north of Scotland, destined for England and abroad, should be transmitted by High Voltage Direct Current subsea lines. New subsea lines are already being planned down the UK east coast – why not for this power as well.

John Rahtz, Glenecht, Echt

Chairman’s Letter No. 4

This is me at 6 feet tall dwarfed by one of the pylons at Hirn that has been upgraded. It is exactly 30 metres high. The proposed Kintore to Tealing 400kV overhead line pylons running through our communities in Dunecht, Echt, Drumoak and Crathes would be more than double this height.

As you can see in this graph below, by 2040 Scotland will have the capacity to export some 65GW of electricity. If we do not stop this new line it will be the first of many running through Aberdeenshire. We believe the power should run through subsea lines, not overland.


SSEN consultation deadline – 30 April

The current SSEN public consultation will close on 30 April. Numbers matter – we need as many objection emails as possible to ensure our voice is heard loud and clear. To maximise the impact, every person in your household (with their own unique email address, no age limit), should send an objection to SSEN with copies to your MP, MSP and community councillors. Full details on “How to Object” can be found on our website, including guidance on key contacts to copy your email to and technical references to the projects.


Upcoming events


Saturday 21 April: DAP Tractor Run: Join us at our tractor run, partnered with the Deeside Steam and Vintage Club, to show our opposition to the SSEN pylon proposal. The tractors will leave Crathes Village Hall at 09:30, going from Crathes through Drumoak, Echt, Dunecht and on to Leylodge and back. The map of the route including safe Support Spots can be found on Facebook and our website.


Thursday 2 May: We are arranging a protest at Holyrood on 2nd. May where Tess White, MSP, is leading a debate on the issue. All welcome, please get in touch if you would like more details. It is important the Scottish Parliament know the strength of feeling against this industrial blighting of our landscape.


Sunday 2 June: ‘Walk the Line’ protest, with the aim to get as many from our communities, families and friends to make this as large and as visible as possible. Still in the early stages of planning, more details to follow.


Thank you for your ongoing support. We had a full house at the Deeside Against Pylons meeting at Echt Village Hall on 10th April. We were pleased that Fiona Bick, Chairman of Echt and Skene Community Council and Alexander Burnett our MSP were able to attend and add their insights.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions:


John Rahtz, Glenecht, Echt

Chairman’s Letter No. 3 

Thank you to all who attended the SSEN Consultations in Echt on 13th. and Drumoak on 20th. March and our Q&A session last night at the Drumoak Church Hall. Some of the DAPAG team participated in a Focus Group with a survey company regarding SSEN’s consultations. In the last 12 months the rating for their consultations fell from 44% to 7%. I have no doubt it will fall further after our feedback.


DAPAG will be holding more meetings to explain what is planned and the most effective means to object. The next one will be in Echt Village Hall at 7:30pm on 10th. April.


Did you see the STV Documentary ‘Power Struggle’? You can see it on catch up TV at


We have written to Gillian Martin MSP, who appeared on the programme in her role as Minister for Energy discussing consultation and the burying of cables.

National Grid Electricity System Operator, NGESO, who run the electricity system in UK and plan its future, has just released its plans for “Beyond 2030”. This includes a massive Electrical Spine running onshore down the east coast of Scotland. The default solution is again for very high voltage overhead lines on huge pylons. This makes our efforts to resist the current proposed new 400kV line even more important before this part of the country is overrun with steel towers. We must make SSEN create better solutions that do not impact so severely on our lives and countryside. This new plan is again solely for exporting power to south of the border with no discernible benefit to communities here and with a huge downside.


DAPAG represents the Communities of Dunecht, Echt, Drumoak and Durris. We now have a formal link with the Save our Means and Angus Pylon Action Group and are hooking up with the new action group representing Tealing. A “Combined Group Team” has been established so we all speak with one voice.


Because the overhead line (OHL) and the associated substations at Fetteresso / Hurlie and Tealing are an integral part of the whole system we are looking closely at the whole planning application process and where and when we should be objecting. Despite being one system the various parts are being split out by SSEN, against the advice of Scotland’s Chief Planner, with planning applications being submitted for each part; the OHL to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consent Unit and the substations separately to Aberdeenshire and Angus County Councils. 


In addition to the Planning Consultant we have recently engaged we are in the early stages of engaging a King’s Council to address the seemingly simple question: “What should the Combined Group do to stop SSEN proceeding with Kintore to Tealing Overhead line as currently proposed?”


We have looked at the major planned electricity transmission systems right across the world. It seems incredible that Scotland, with its bold plans for Net Zero and its huge renewable energy resources should choose traditional High Voltage AC power lines on 60 to 70 metre high  pylons when almost everyone else is choosing more modern solutions.


Please engage your friends and neighbours in the fight. To those that say there is nothing they can do I say ‘If you do nothing, there is no chance of stopping the pylons and overhead lines being built’. The Deeside Against Pylons explains what you can do. It will take a lot of writing to all the parties but the result will be worth it.


Thank you for your support

John Rahtz, Glenecht, Echt

Chairman’s Letter No. 2 

The Deeside Against Pylons Action Group (DAPAG) met this week to continue the fight against the Kintore to Tealing 400kv Overhead Line. We were pleased to have Alexander Burnett online via Zoom to hear our concerns and questions. His key message was the that quality and quantity of objections is key.


I would emphasise that the group represents everyone in the communities of Durris, Drumoak, Echt and Dunecht who object to the proposed 400kv pylons and overhead wires. We are linked in closely with the Community Councils and other action groups to bring a unified voice against this development. The goal is unchanged: NO PYLONS.


DAPAG is pleased to welcome onboard two professional communications specialists. The aim is to have a planned and powerful message to all decision makers and provide all members of the affected communities with the information they need to make their decision and hopefully object to this spoiling of our neighbourhoods.

The Deeside against Pylon website is now live and we will update it regularly:

The health subgroup has revealed that SSEN relies on advice from various UK health and government bodies who in turn rely on advice from the International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation (ICNIR) whose data and advice does not reflect recent science. We will pursue enquires on this complex field with vigour, particularly with respect to the impact on schools close to the pylons.

With the funds raised to date we have been able to engage the services of a specialist Planning Consultant who has been heavily involved with objections to wind farms and transmission lines in Scotland. He has already given his powerful views on questioning the basic needs for the whole development.

We are grateful to all those who have contributed to the Deeside Against Pylons fund. Heavy costs are anticipated when we obtain legal / KC advice on specific aspects of our objections such as environmental, planning and human rights. So please encourage all whom you know to contribute:

SSEN is currently consulting on the final corridor planning and in June will start consulting on the actual placement of the pylons within the corridor. Please write to SSEN, copying your County Councillor, with your objections during both of these consultation periods. The closing date for the current consultations is 30th April. Addresses and contacts are on the Deeside against Pylons Flyer many of you will have received and on the DAPAG website.

Details of the project and the dates of consultations can be found on the SSEN website:


Thank you to all who attended the consultation meetings and made their views clear to the SSEN representatives.

We are planning a Q and A session on 28th March at the Drumoak Church Hall. Also in conjunction with the other Action Groups along the whole route a protest is planned at the Scottish Government on 28th April. Details of both these meetings will be published soon.


Thank you

John Rahtz, Glenecht, Echt               

Chairman’s Letter No. 1  

The Deeside Against Pylons Action Group (DAPAG) was established in January 2024 after SSEN changed their “preferred route” for their massive pylons to run right through the villages of Drumoak and Echt.


It is leading the fight for the communities affected and has one simple goal: NO PYLONS.


DAPAG is carefully structured with sound governance provided with the following roles: Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer and up to sixteen committee members. Subgroups cover the key areas of Legal / Political, Technical, Fundraising and Communications. Volunteers to support these subgroups are very welcome.

We are fortunate that the team includes a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience. Professional advice on specialist areas such as legal and planning will be brought in from experts in those fields when needed.

The Committee is researching a wide spectrum of issues, from planning processes to political aspects, from the health implications to house value impacts and are looking at the alternative technologies in use elsewhere.


The Action Group covers the communities of Dunecht, Echt, Drumoak and Durris, but is also linked into the action groups ‘Leylodge against Industrialisation’ to the north and ‘Save our Mearns’ to the south. It works closely with the Community Councils along the route from Kintore to Tealing. This avoids duplication of effort and expense. It is only by speaking with one voice that we can stop the pylon’s blight to our landscape and the effect on our lives.


DAPAG is spreading the word through social media, ‘Deeside against Pylons’ on FaceBook, its website and with fliers to be distributed throughout the area. We attend all the SSEN Consultation meetings and ask the crucial questions.


We are raising funds to cover professional advice and publicity. Please contribute via Just Giving if you can. Every pound helps.


You can help by sending attractive photographs of your local landscape to DAPAG, and by recording every species of fauna and rare flora you see on the North East Scotland Biological Records Centre site. All will be used as evidence in arguments against pylons.


The team is planning a number of ways of getting the message out from walking the route to more radio talks and television appearances.


I implore all who read this to become involved in the fight against pylons and to engage your family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Attend the SSEN Consultation meetings, write to your Aberdeenshire Councillor, MP and MSP, help raise funds and spread the word.


Ultimately success will come from the number of people who object to the scheme.


Thank you.


John Rahtz