In October, National Grid announced that the Lake District was to be spared from 47m tall pylons. It also announced that it would remove existing 132kV lines meaning that sections of the western Lake District could be free of pylons for the first time in 65 years.

Whilst this was welcome news for campaigners, proposals in National Grid’s current North West Coast Connections (NWCC) public consultation state that once the cables leave the National Park they will then run on 47m tall pylons very close to the western boundary of the Lake District.

For 3.5km in the Whicham Valley, pylons will be within just tens of metres of the National Park boundary. The line of pylons will also run right across the top of the Duddon Estuary interrupting stunning views into and out of the high fells of the Lake District, scarring a cherished landscape steeped in history. 

Christopher Wordsworth, descendent of the English Romantic poet said,

“William Wordsworth was enthralled by the unique beauty of the Duddon, which inspired his famous series of sonnets. As much as the works of my ancestor are an important part of our literary heritage, his ‘long-loved Duddon’ is an important part of our natural heritage.  We owe it to his memory to preserve its beauty for future generations to enjoy.”

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District and campaign group Power Without Pylons want National Grid to adopt an alternative solution which would remove the need to take the power cables up the Whicham Valley and around the Duddon Estuary.

They are calling on the public to show their support by writing to National Grid by the consultation deadline of 6 January 2017 to express their concerns about the proposals which threaten the landscapes of the Duddon and Whicham Valleys. 

Dr Kate Willshaw, Policy Officer at Friends of the Lake District,

“We need as many people as possible to tell National Grid that putting pylons just metres outside of the National Park’s south-western boundary will cause unacceptable damage, destroying the special qualities of the National Park and interrupting people's enjoyment of our beautiful landscape renowned throughout the world. We would urge people to visit our website at where all of the information they need to write to National Grid can be found.”

Graham Barron, Secretary of Power Without Pylons,

“Protecting this important area is not just a local issue but a national issue. Over 40 million people visit Cumbria each year to enjoy these special landscapes: they don’t want them scarred by lumps of metal and unsightly overhead wires. There are feasible alternatives to pylons which we have campaigned for from the outset. If enough people state their objections to giant pylons in writing we believe the wall of opposition will force National Grid to reconsider.”