Page 3 Profile: Dame Helen Ghosh, Director-General of the National Trust


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The Independent Online

More hot air in the wind turbine debate?

Yes, but not what you might expect. The head of the National Trust has insisted the giant constructions can be a "graceful" addition to the landscape. "If you think back to what the railways looked like to the 19th century mind, or indeed the 18th century when the canals were coming through, I think we have to have our minds open to how the wind turbine will appear to us in 100 years," she told The Sunday Times. However, Dame Helen added: "We object to them where they are a blot on our historic landscape." Her words could cause a stir with the Trust's chairman, Sir Simon Jenkins, who has long been a critic of wind turbines.

She loves a bit of confrontation, doesn't she?

After quitting the Home Office last year, she criticised David Cameron for packing his government with the Prime Minister's old Eton chums. She also argued that the culture in Whitehall does not allow for women to network, meaning they struggle to claim the highest positions.

Can we expect more of the same?

Those in favour of wind energy will be supporting her, after she helped forge pro-wind policy as a civil servant. Her appointment at the National Trust was seen by some as an odd decision, and these comments may not help her cause among those wishing for the greenest of green countryside.