Pylons to be removed in four protected areas

image copyrightPA
image captionThe Peak District is one of the protected landscapes to be transformed by removing the electricity pylons and overhead lines

Electricity pylons are to be removed in four areas of England and Wales to reduce their visual impact on the landscape.

Overhead power lines will be replaced by underground cables in parts of the New Forest, the Peak District, Snowdonia and Dorset.

The National Grid has set aside £500m for the project.

Environmentalist Chris Baines, who helped select the locations, said it had been a "difficult decision".

The four schemes have been prioritised out of 12 sections of electricity lines in eight national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) across England and Wales which were considered to have the most significant impact on beauty spots.

The four stretches of lines which have been prioritised are in:

  • Dorset AONB, near Winterbourne Abbas
  • New Forest National Park, near Hale
  • Peak District National Park, near Dunford Bridge
  • Snowdonia National Park, near Porthmadog

The Brecon Beacons National Park, High Weald in East Sussex and the Tamar Valley between Devon and Cornwall were among those which missed out on the funding, which has been made available by energy regulator Ofgem.

Mr Baines, who chaired the group of conservation organisations which advised National Grid, said some "difficult decisions" had to be made.

"Reducing the visual impact of pylons and power lines in our most precious landscapes is highly desirable, but it is also very expensive and technically complex."

He said all the locations on the original shortlist would remain under consideration for future work.

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