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Lake District views under threat from pylon ‘fence’

View from side of Black Combe over Whicham Valley to the Duddon Estuary
View from side of Black Combe over Whicham Valley to the Duddon Estuary

[P]roposals in National Grid’s current North West Coast Connections (NWCC) public consultation reveal that some of the most treasured views of the Lake District are under threat from pylons forming a ‘fence’ around the western border of the National Park.

For 3.5km in the Whicham Valley, 47m tall pylons will be within metres of the National Park boundary. The line of pylons will also run right across the top of the Duddon Estuary interrupting stunning views into and out of the high fells of the Lake District.

Author, Bill Bryson
Author, Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson, author and campaigner said: “Britain’s countryside doesn’t stop being glorious at the boundaries of its national parks.  It is beautiful — and vulnerable — nearly everywhere, and should be respected and cherished wherever it enhances a landscape.  It would be a tragedy to lose these exquisite views just for the sake of one company’s bottom line.”

In the current consultation documents National Grid has put forward two alternative routing solutions which would remove the need to take the power cables up the Whicham Valley and around the Duddon Estuary.

Kate Willshaw, Policy Officer at Friends of the Lake District said: “National Grid should adopt an alternative route solution to protect views into and out of the Lake District. The first and in our mind best option is to put the cables offshore between Kirksanton on the Cumbrian coast and the Fylde Peninsula in Lancashire.

“National Grid’s current consultation document has dismissed this option on cost grounds.  However, the proposal is only 7% more expensive than current proposals. We consider that this is a price worth paying for the protection of the Lake District.”

Friends of the Lake District is calling on the public to show its support by writing to National Grid to express concerns about its current proposals. More information is available on Friends of the Lake District’s website at www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk

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