Puffins will be driven to extinction by plan to power Britain with offshore wind energy

Puffins and other seabirds will be driven to extinction by Boris Johnson's plan to power Britain with 'limitless' offshore wind energy by 2030, the RSPB has warned.

The conservation charity has urged the Government to keep its objectives 'in harmony with nature', recommending to build solar and wind panels in areas with a lower level of biodiversity.

Puffins are listed in the red category of conservation importance, meaning there has been at least a 50 per cent decline in their UK breeding population over the last 25 years.

Seabirds can get caught in the sharp propellers of offshore wind farms, which are also frequently set up in shallow waters where the animals feed.

The charity is particularly concerned about the kittiwake population, which forages for food in shallow waters, and gannets.

Mr Cunningham from the RSPB said: 'Areas suitable for wind farm development also happen to be foraging areas for these seabirds. 

'They could also act as barrier in term of visual impacts. Seabirds will fly around wind farms in foraging areas so they spend more energy and during nesting season will spend a longer period of time away from the nest. 

'Ultimately this increases the chance a chick will starve, and so we are seeing a reduction in the number of chicks they have each year.

'If you're a species trying to recover numbers you need more chicks each year, so any impact can snowball into a bigger effect.'