Cairngorms pylon removal on Beauly to Denny line begins

Electricity tower comes down. Pic: Brian Ashman/BBC The first in a series of electricity towers are being removed

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Work to remove a string of steel electricity pylons in the Cairngorms National Park has started.

The pylons are being removed as part of a deal allowing Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to create an upgraded Beauly to Denny electricity line.

About 33 miles (53km) of overhead transmission line are to come down between Boat of Garten and Cairnmore.

The new 42m to 65m tall pylons along the 130-mile (209km) Beauly to Denny line have attracted public opposition.

Some communities are up in arms about the impact on their local landscape, while others are to benefit from the removal of existing pylons.

Wooden poles

SSE has agreed to remove about 68 miles (109km) of overhead pylons in the Highlands and Perth and Kinross.

The company said removing the pylons will have a positive effect, reducing the visual impact of the electricity grid in the Cairngorms National Park.

The company also plans to remove another 25 miles (40km) of pylons in the park, running to the south of Aviemore, and replacing them with wooden poles or underground cables.

Pylons will also be removed and underground cables installed around Beauly and Whitebridge and near Amulree in Perthshire.

The project is a joint development between Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy.

The Scottish government approved the line but required Scottish Power to mitigate the effect of the new pylons.

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