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Wormingford farmer fears proposed pylon line would destroy areas of land dedicated to wildlife scheme





A rural farmer joined more than 100 demonstrators against a proposed pylon line through Suffolk and Essex, branding the scheme ‘a plan from hell that would despoil the area for generations’.

Campaigners held a protest rally over the weekend to spread the word of their concerns about the potential impact of National Grid’s plan for a major power line reinforcement from Dunston in Norfolk to Tilbury in Essex, via the Suffolk countryside.

Although National Grid insists the development is needed to enable the transmission of energy produced at coastal wind farms, opponents believe an integrated offshore network would be both more cost-effective and less environmentally damaging.

Wormingford farm owners Robert and Laura Strathern are concerned about National Grid's pylon proposals. Picture credit: Janus van Helfteren.
Wormingford farm owners Robert and Laura Strathern are concerned about National Grid's pylon proposals. Picture credit: Janus van Helfteren.

Among them is Wormingford-based farm owner Robert Strathern, who described the pylon proposals as “ludicrous and seriously flawed”.

“All our land within the proposed route is in a countryside stewardship scheme, which encourages wildlife and biodiversity to flourish,” he said. “There are numerous areas of the farm dedicated to this scheme, which are drilled with cover crops for wildlife.

“The pylons cut straight through these areas and will disrupt and likely destroy these habitats, including all the wildlife within it.

“With evidence that the offshore route is more cost-effective and, of course, much less disruptive, it seems ludicrous that NG are even considering this pylon option at all.”

The proposed pylon route passes near to Wattisham, Nedging Tye, Whatfield, Hadleigh, Layham, Polstead, Stoke-by-Nayland, Nayland, Boxted, Wakes Colne, Chappel and Aldham.