Wind Turbines

Each year the NAS receives many complaints about noise from wind turbines.

The noise and penetrating sound of the rotating blades has been compared to the low thud of base notes from loud music or the sound of a constant helicopter at a distance. While there remains dispute regarding the source and definition of this sound, there is no doubt that residents remain disturbed and distressed by its promulgation.

A group of turbines produce pulses of sound which cause greater effect when they synchronise. The sound then resembles distant pile-driving, or as one resident put it, “an endless train”. The turbine sound acquires a distinct ‘beating’ character, the rhythm of which is in agreement with the blade passing frequency and this effect is stronger for more modern, taller wind turbines.

Felt as  much as heard

A family living near a wind farm in Askam, Cumbria (7 turbines, 62.5m tall) describe the noise as ‘a washing machine that’s gone wrong. Its whooshing drumming just goes on and on, it’s torture’ and ‘it is an audio version of Chinese Water Torture. The noise is such that it is felt as much as heard’.

So far there has been no success in reducing this invasive noise, caused by wind turbines, which can continue unabated day and night for extended periods and can travel several miles. There are recognised health problems such as pulse irregularity and sleep disturbance associated with this type of low-frequency sound.

Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound


Environmental hazard

CO2 emissions

Light pollution

Hazardous to wildlife, bats and birds

Out of date regulation

New research required


Further general references

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