Blackdown Hills AONB secured funding from National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative to restore and enhance landscape features within the National Grid transmission line corridor in a project called Enhancing the Hills.

Start Date: 2019-10-01 End Date: 2024-10-31

The Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) is a grant scheme that forms an important part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision project. The LEI helps fund local visual improvement schemes in 30 of English and Welsh AONBs and National Parks crossed by National Grid electricity transmission lines.

The overall objective of the scheme is to reduce the landscape and visual impact of National Grid’s existing electricity infrastructure and enhance the quality of the affected designated landscapes. Where the visual impacts of the electricity transmission line cannot be directly screened or otherwise mitigated it may be possible to shift emphasis away from the transmission line by enhancing the landscape in other ways.

The aim of the Enhancing the Hills project is to reduce the impact of the National Grid’s infrastructure by restoring and enhancing key landscape features that underpin the character of the Blackdown Hills landscape, which will also help provide some visual screening and provide other benefits including re-connecting fragmented wildlife habitats. We will do this through targeted conservation interventions with landowners that aim to restore and enhance key components of the landscape, particularly hedgerows and hedgerow trees, small woodlands and orchards, and meadows within the vicinity of the power lines running west-east through the AONB north of Honiton to north of Axminster.

National GridLandscape conservation and enhancement interventions:

  1. Hedgerow management (to include hedgerow tree planting, hedge laying and planting)
  2. Small woodland and orchard management (to include planting, restoration and scrub clearance)
  3. Hay meadow restoration.
A countryside scene with fields, trees and hedgerows with a pilon on the skyline.

Pylon, Blackdown Hills

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