What's happening?

Under the Electricity Act 1989 Ofgem, the regulator of the electrical distribution industry, has a duty to have regard to the impact of distribution activities on the environment. In response to this, Ofgem provides funding to the National Grid and two Distribution Network Operators operating in the AONB (SSEPD & Western Power), to underground power lines.

Since 2005 the National Landscape team have worked with the National Grid and the local Distribution Network Operators, Southern Electric Power Distribution and Western Power Distribution, and identified and successfully undergrounded several visually intrusive powerlines.

The Dorset National Landscape has greatly benefited from the allowance and powerlines have been undergrounded in Worth Matravers, Studland, Hartland Moor, Abbotsbury, Powerstock and Loders. The removal of many unsightly powerlines, poles and associated infrastructure has significantly improved the quality of views and contributed to the enhancement of the landscape.

In 2019 work commenced on a major National Grid project, which will underground 8km of their lines that cross the South Dorset Ridgeway near to Martinstown and will be completed by early 2023. You can find more details of this ambitious project, including details of removal in the news article below.