With the colder temperatures, we are acutely aware that the planting season will soon be upon us.  Ground Control has been working hard in the background getting everything in place to tackle our biggest winter season of works yet on National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project.

The 2021-22 planting season starts in mid-November and will see Ground Control planting 1,260 trees, 8,200 linear metres (5 ½ miles) of hedgerows and 43,700 square metres of woodland planting (the equivalent of more than 6 football pitches), from Avonmouth in the north to Bridgwater in the south.

Half of this planting is replacement planting which will compensate for tree and vegetation clearance which was done to make way for new pylons, cables and substations.  National Grid has pledged to replace four trees for every one tree felled and to replace on a one for one basis any hedgerow or woodland cleared. Ground Control will also be carrying out planting as part of National Grid’s Off Site Planting Enhancement Scheme (OSPES) where landowners have been able to apply for planting based on their proximity to the centre line of the cables.  The OSPES scheme has been very popular and, in many areas has been over-subscribed.

The work this season has been designed and will be planted by Ground Control. It involves planting on 84 separate landowner sites. This will bring up to date the planting of over 200 sites.  In addition to this, there will be landscape work to screen two substations in Loxton and Sandford. All of these sites require extensive documentation to ensure that they align with DCO and landowner requirements as well as ensuring our teams are working safely and in line with National Grid’s policies.

Specialist teams have been engaged to carry out the works. Work began at the end of October clearing and preparing the ground and putting up fencing ready for the planting to start in mid-November.

Gareth Emberton, Senior Project Manager for Ground Control says

These are exciting times for Ground Control’s Hinkley Connection Project team.  As we roll up our sleeves ready for this season’s planting bonanza, we look forward with pride to the work we will be carrying out and the legacy for future generations – leaving the environment in a better condition than when we found it.
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