National Grid Protected Landscapes Study

England and Wales

A major study evaluating the landscape and visual impacts of National Grid's electricity network on protected landscapes in England and Wales.

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There are around 580km of high voltage transmission lines crossing seven National Parks and 19 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in England and Wales. As part of its commitment to make use of funds from a £500m allocation from Ofgem to reduce the visual impact of existing electricity infrastructure on nationally protected landscapes, National Grid instructed leading landscape architecture practices Gillespies and LUC to carry out a comparative landscape and visual impact assessment to identify and prioritise potential mitigation projects that could yield the greatest visual improvements.

National Grid's stated objective was "to achieve the maximum enhancement to the landscape in England and Wales from the available funds whilst ensuring that no significant adverse impacts arise as a result." The aim of the project was to work with stakeholders to identify the stretches of existing transmission lines in National Parks and AONBs that currently have the most significant impacts on the landscape and on people's views and visual amenity.