COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have criticised the installation of “garish” nine-feet high poles through scenic landscapes to mark gas pipelines.
Tens of thousands of 2.67 metre-high white poles with red-orange tops are being installed by National Grid across the country to indicate where its high-pressure gas lines go, replacing old small concrete markers.
National Grid said the poles aimed to show more clearly where the pipelines run so they did not get dug up or damaged and could be seen from the air during helicopter surveys to check for any work being done near to the pipes.
But concerns have been raised about the impact of the markers on rural areas with campaigners saying they could ruin British landscapes.
Paul Miner, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “National Grid should rectify this problem by coming up with a new gas marker design that is less of a blot on the landscape.”
National Grid said preserving the natural beauty of the countryside is very important to the company, but keeping its pipelines safe was vital. It said it was required to visibly mark the route of the high-pressure pipelines to avoid risk of damage from any nearby work on the land.
In a statement, National Grid said: “We are replacing the concrete markers on our higher pressure pipelines, which were prone to being overlooked and damaged by farm machinery or verge trimmers.”