The government regulator of electricity and gas, Ofgem, has decided to retain the undergrounding scheme for National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in its new programme which will run for 5 years from 2023.  This will enable the important work of Undergrounding for Visual Amenity (UVA) by regional electricity companies to continue.  It is something that landscape charity, Friends of the Lake District, has campaigned on for many years. 

Friends of the Lake District Overhead Wires Officer, Amanda McCleery said: 

“We have responded to several government consultations requesting that the undergrounding allowance is retained after the current programme finishes in 2023.  We are delighted that the regulator has agreed that this vital and successful work - to reduce the visual impact of pre-existing lines on protected landscapes - should continue into the new programme.

“We look forward to continue working with staff from Electricity North West and the protected landscapes to remove wire clutter from our most stunning landscapes.” 

Across the country, staff from National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty make recommendations to their regional electricity companies of lines that would benefit from undergrounding due to their negative visual impact on the protected landscapes. 

Here in the North West, Electricity North West has been working hard, for over ten years, to remove the most visually intrusive poles and wires from these beautiful landscapes in partnership with National Parks Authorities, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty teams and environmental charities, including Friends of the Lake District.  

Pictured: Electricity North West at work removing poles and wires at Goosegreen near Keswick

Ian Fenton, who helps oversee the UVA scheme for Electricity North West, said: 

“We welcome the news funding has been extended for the UVA scheme. 

“We’ve carried out several UVA projects in our region which have been received well by local residents. 

“We’ll continue to work with key partners including Friends of the Lake District to keep investing in this popular programme.” 

By the time the current programme finished in 2023 approximately 37 kms of electricity power lines, costing over £4 million, will have been undergrounded in the Lake District National Park alone.