1st November 2016 - Campaign latest news

On Monday 24th October, National Grid annouced that it is to underground all of the new 400kV cables through the Lake District.  This was wonderful news, and we'd like to personally thank all of those members and supporters sending messages of support and congratulations, it was certainly worth celebrating and something we’ve been campaigning for since 2011.

Great news for the National Park but bad news for the areas of outstanding landscape falling on the wrong side of the park boundary. National Grid still wants to erect pylons just outside of the Lake District within the landscape ‘setting’ of the National Park.
The landscape setting for a national park is the area whose landscape character compliments that of the national park itself, either through similarity or contrast, and in some way supports or enhances its landscape through views into or out of the national park. The setting is also defined by the intervisibility of the landscapes on either side of the park boundary.  So whilst the Lake District has a hard boundary, the landscape outside of this boundary is a very important part of what makes the National Park special. 
In light of the importance of the setting, the decision of National Grid to place pylons within metres of the National Park boundary along the Whicham Valley strikes Friends of the Lake District as paying lip service to the designation of the Lake District rather than actually protecting the National Park and its setting from this development.

(click image to enlarge)
We also have major concerns about the proposals to put pylons across the Duddon Estuary and straight through the Duddon Mosses Special Area of Conservation from The Green on the west side to Kirkby in Furness, east of the estuary. 
This part of the Duddon is flat salt marsh backdropped by the hills of the Lake District rising behind.  It’s the only estuary in England where mountains meet the sea and is a vital part of the setting of the Lake District.  In our view, this scenery is as valuable as any actually within the National Park, and for National Grid to erect 50m tall pylons across this special landscape is vandalism on an industrial scale.

(click image to enlarge)

These are the issues that we will be fighting for over the next ten weeks of the North West Coast Connections (NWCC) consultation which starts today and runs for 10 weeks. 
We will let you know how you could help us with this fight.  Over the next couple of weeks Friends of the Lake District will be going through the 7000+ pages of consultation documents and maps and will start to prepare our consultation response.
We will update this information again by 18th November with more detail about our objections to this proposal and how you can get involved by writing to National Grid and others to raise the issues of landscape damage to the National Park setting.
Meanwhile, you can take a look at the documents themselves on the NWCC website.  These are found under the heading Proposed Route Alignment Stage – 2016  I suggest you start by reading the Non-Technical Summary which gives an overview of the project itself.  There is a useful Map Booklet which shows the route of the cables.  The areas we are most concerned about are Sections E1 and E2 the Whicham Valley and the head of the Duddon Estuary.

(The links are large documents and slow to download)