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FAQs about the pylon project

FAQs about the pylon work at Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve

 These are some of the questions which we have been asked about the pylon work on Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve. We will answer questions to the best of our knowledge or if we do not know we will refer to others. 

What will happen to our reserve when a temporary road is driven through it by the Hinkley work? Vital habitats will be destroyed for ever?

 Answer:  The Hinkley line is not going to destroy the reserve!

The temporary road crosses the rough grazing fields, avoiding the pools and newt ponds. The most serious damage will be the removal of sections of hedgerows. These will be replaced, but will take some years to recover.

The work to replace the pylons and put in new lines will cause several years of disturbance and disruption, but the reserve will recover in the long term. There are lots of different threats to the future of the reserve and its wildlife, the Hinkley line is a temporary one and not as serious as many others!

At a meeting in the Folk Hall last year representatives from the Hinkley Point Connection Team addressed the public. They said that work would stop during the breeding season.

 Answer: National Grid have been advised by Natural England that the biggest threat is to the wintering wildfowl, many of which are on the red list of birds under threat. They migrate to the reserve in the autumn and leave again in the spring.  The Hinkley Connection Team have confirmed in writing that there will be no construction between September and April to minimise any effects on wintering birds. See Hinkley Connection Project where other wildlife mitigation measures are also outlined, especially with regards to Cetti’s Warblers, Barn Owls, Great Crested Newts, Water Voles and Bats.

What access to the reserve will the public have once work has started?

 Answer: The public’s access to the reserve will not be affected during the construction work. All of the public paths will remain open. The only times there might be temporary closures is for safety reasons when heavy machinery is being moved around the site.

There are low plastic fences at floor level in the fields, what are they for?

 Answer:  This is the Great-Crested Newt fencing. Great-Crested Newts (GCNs) are a protected species so before National Grid can carry out any construction work on the reserve they must ensure there are no GCNs within their construction area. Any GCNs and reptiles that are found inside this area are being carefully collected up and moved outside of this fence. The ecologists performing this task will have a special licence to handle these amazing creatures. You can read more about the wildlife mitigation measures at Hinkley Connection Project.