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The rolling countryside of Dorset beloved by poet and novelist Thomas Hardy will be ‘devastated’ if plans to build a dozen wind turbines there go ahead, angry residents have claimed.

The Thomas Hardy Society has condemned proposals to erect two wind farms close to locations the author wrote into his best-known works, saying they will blight the beautiful countryside that attracts crowds of tourists each year.

The proposed sites for the 400ft turbines are between the villages of Tolpuddle and Puddletown, close to where both The Return Of The Native and Far From The Madding Crowd were set, and at Charminster, not far from the tiny village of Stinsford where Hardy was born and where his heart is buried.

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