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Power lines removed from wildlife haven

Overhead electricity lines have been removed from Castle Marshes in Suffolk to not only improve the view but to help wildlife thrive.

From Press releases - 9 November 2016 12:00 AM

Castle Marshes 1 (002).jpg

Overhead electricity lines have been removed from Castle Marshes in Suffolk to not only improve the view but to help wildlife thrive.

Work was completed last week when the final length of cable and electricity pole was removed from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust site near Carlton Colville, by UK Power Networks which owns and operates the electricity networks in the East of England, London and the South East.

Just under one kilometre of overhead cable and nine poles were removed from the land within the Barnby Broad and marshes, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), forming part of the Broads Special Area of Conservation, the Broadland Special Protection Area and Ramsar wetland site of international importance.

The cables used to power a drainage pump at the site but that has been decommissioned so the lines are no longer needed.

Heather Patrick, environment adviser at UK Power Networks, said: “This work should reduce the risk of water birds striking the overhead lines as they take off or land on the nearby river. 

“The warden also recommended we create shallow depressions when reinstating the ground, which will fill with water in the winter to create additional interest and encourage species diversity at the site.”

Matt Gooch, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s reserve manager, said: “Power lines are essential in today's times to deliver power and also ensure control can be kept of floodplain water levels by getting electricity to many internal drainage board pumps. However overhead lines can be a visual scar on the landscape and also a serious danger to birds.”

He said the benefit of removing the power line from Castle Marshes was three-fold: “The removal of the lines not only removes the collision danger and improves the landscape view, but it helps improve the potential for the marshes by making it more suitable for ground nesting birds.”

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has recently launched a £1 million appeal to buy and restore 384 acres of land for wildlife in the Broads National Park. The land links three nature reserves that are home to some of the UK’s rarest species. For more details of the charity’s appeal, go to www.suffolkbroads.org.uk