A new campaign group has been set up by people in South and West Cumbria, to fight National Grid proposals to install giant pylons at Lake District beauty spots.
The 'Power Without Pylons' group are supporting the offshore route for connecting the proposed Moorside nuclear power station to the national power network at Heysham.
Members say building new, 50 metre-tall pylons will cause "irreversible damage to outstanding Lakeland landscapes" and the Duddon Estuary.
Power Without Pylons (PWP) Chair, Graham Pitts, said: "Standing 50m high - possibly even up to 65m - and covering a huge base area, the proposed pylons would be visible from far and wide and create an eyesore for generations to come. They would have a devastating effect on our landscapes and could dent the local economy by threatening tourism.
“It’s ironic that National Grid have received £500m funding from Ofgem to remove pylons from other National Parks to lessen the visual impact, yet they want to put up new ones here in the Lake District. We believe it’s not necessary to destroy the beautiful scenery in and around the Lake District National Park in order to supply power to the country when there’s a viable alternative.”
Friends of the Lake District Policy Officer, Dan Hunt, commented: “Power Without Pylons have worked hard on researching into the options for connecting Moorside to the grid. They have a thorough grasp of the issues and have helped inform our organisation.
"Friends of the Lake District joins PWP in campaigning for the offshore route as the least damaging for the landscape and least disruptive for local communities. We fully support the efforts the group is making to alert the public to the damaging effects huge pylons would have on our wonderful landscapes.”
Graham Pitts added: “Support for the offshore route is growing, as we help more and more people realise the impact new onshore power lines would have.
"Together we’re determined to win this fight.”
More information about PWP is here.
Below: How it could look: The Duddon Estuary with a giant pylon superimposed by PWP to scale on the likely route
Below: Existing pylon at Heysham, the size of pylons proposed in and around the Lake District National Park