Help us protect the Lake District from giant pylons

Posted by Tina Gardner on 22/09/2015

The BMC is supporting Friends of the Lake District’s campaign against giant pylons being built as part of the largest planned electricity infrastructure project in the UK. You can support the campaign by signing up to the campaign website and writing to your MP.

The Lake District's natural beauty is under threat in the form of National Grid’s proposals for a 24km long powerline using 50m tall pylons in the west of the Lake District National Park. 

This would be a huge infrastructure project anywhere in the UK, but to have this length of overhead line running through one of England’s most unique, important and well-loved landscapes would be damaging in the extreme to the character of the Lake District National Park. 

The pylons would impact on views across the western Lake District, described by Chris James of Friends of the Lake District as "the only place in England where mountains meet the sea." 

National Grid have said because there is already a line of pylons in the area new pylons would not be as damaging to the landscape, but the proposed pylons will be nearly double the height of the existing ones. 

In a public consultation last year, National Grid presented an option where the cables could be run south of the new power station by going offshore.  This was the most popular option in the consultation responses as it avoided damage to the landscape and wildlife of the National Park and was also highlighted as the best option for the environment in National Grid’s own Environmental Statement. 

However National Grid has chosen the onshore south with tunnel route as NuGen, the Moorside power station developer, effectively vetoed the offshore route on technical grounds (which are disputed) leaving the onshore south route as the only option on the table.

At the moment, National Grid is refusing to discuss undergrounding of the powerline in the west of the Lake District and has only put forward different overhead line routes as “mitigation”.   None of these alternative routes would avoid damaging the unique coastal landscape of the Lake District National Park.  This “mitigation” is no mitigation at all if we are offered no alternative to overhead lines.

Write to your MP

We are asking people to write to National Grid, their MPs and the Government insisting that if the 400kV cables are not taken offshore, they must be put underground through and adjacent to the Lake District National Park. 

We are concerned that despite the evidence that Friends of the Lake District, our partners and members of the public provided them with during the last round of consultation, National Grid refuse to acknowledge the landscape value of the Lake District as a National Park and a candidate World Heritage Site.

Support the campaign

You can sign up for the campaign HERE.

Find out more about the issues HERE

Read more in the Telegraph.

In addition to the BMC, other organisations supporting the campaign are Campaign for National Parks, CPRE, Friends of the Lake District, John Muir Trust, Open Spaces Society, Power Without Pylons.


The Access and Conservation Trust

The BMC's charity  the BMC Access & Conservation Trust  promotes sustainable access to cliffs, mountains and open countryside by facilitating education and conservation projects across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

By educating climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers to enjoy outdoor recreation while minimising their impact on the landscape, conserving the UK’s upland resources, and campaigning for improved access rights, ACT enables future generations to continue to enjoy outdoor activities and the physical, mental and social benefits they bring to individual lives and society in general.

READ: More about the recent work of ACT

WATCH: What is Mend Our Mountains on BMC TV

How to donate:

  1. Donate online via PayPal

  2. Donate when you renew your BMC membership

  3. Donate by text message


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