About Landscape Enhancement with the National Grid

With the support of the National Grid, we have been working to improve the landscape of the Marshwood Vale, Brit Valley and the South Dorset Ridgeway, where they are impacted by high-voltage power lines.  We also secured some additional funding through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to allow us to do even more.

The aim was to restore and recreate the key features of the landscape that make it special and to reconnect the wildlife living there.  Over the past five years we have worked towards:

  • Restoring 13.7ha of lowland meadows and chalk grassland and created 9.6ha of flower-rich margins and diverse herbal leys.
  • Traditionally managing 4.8km of hedgerows, and planting 3.3km of new hedgerows and 205 new hedgerow oak trees
  • Restoring 200m of lost drystone walls
  • Restoring 20 ponds and 750m of river habitat
  • Planting 108 orchard trees
  • All with the help over 7,000 hours of volunteer support and 1,200 hours of landowner time.

We are just starting our next delivery round, and over the next three years, in partnership with the landowners, conservation organisations and volunteers, we will:

  • Plant, protect and manage 60 hedgerow oak trees
  • Lay 1,300m of hedgerow
  • Restore 140m of drystone wall
  • Restore 7ha of semi-natural grassland
  • Undertake 4.7ha of scrub and grassland management to improve habitat for wildlife
  • Enhance management of 10 ponds and wetlands for wildlife
  • Create 0.75ha of wildlife corridors to increase habitat connectivity
South Dorset Ridgeway landscape by Phil Bardswell

About the funding

The project is funded by the National Grid’s ‘Visual Impact Provision’ policy, which has secured multi-million pound investment in protected landscapes to counteract the impacts of their infrastructure. The majority of this funding will be spent on large-scale undergrounding projects, one of which is in the Dorset National Landscape. However, some of the funds are released to National Landscapes and National Parks to conserve and enhance the landscape around powerlines that are not scheduled to be undergrounded. The Dorset National Landscape was successful in securing close to £400,000 for the Marshwood Vale and South Dorset Ridgeway to support action until 2021 and has secured a further £200,000 for the area until 2024.

Undergrounding powerlines

Find out more about the National Grid’s undergrounding of powerlines between Winterbourne Abbas and Corton on our Undergrounding project page.