Grrrrreat news for local Zoo as overhead lines removed

Specialist teams remove 60-year-old pylon and wires from animal enclosures

A stretch of Somerset’s pylons are coming down within Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall as part of National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project.

The horizon of the zoo farm has featured the pylons for over 60 years. They are now being replaced with underground cables and the view of the zoo has changed for good with the zoo’s pylon removed on Wednesday 29 September.

Pylons and overhead electricity lines passed over the lion, bear and elephant enclosures providing a unique challenge for National Grid’s contractor Balfour Beatty to create a solution that didn’t disturb animals or guests. It has been a phased process with the wires being dismantled using controlled lifting systems originally designed for the London Olympic park that reel in the wires without needing to lower them to the ground.

Guests and staff alike have been impressed to see the electricity lines disappear one by one

Planned for after the summer holidays, the pylon that sits on the hill overlooking Elephant Eden, was then felled with the use of a winch on the top of the pylon. It’s one of 249 pylons that will be removed between Bridgwater and Avonmouth.

“Guests and staff alike have been impressed to see the electricity lines disappear one by one and witness how safe and quietly the felling happened,” says Jon Jutsum, Site Manager at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

“Noah’s Ark are very pleased with the change, which makes a beautiful spot of Somerset countryside even more scenic,” he adds.

Aden Precious, Project Engineer for National Grid says, “It’s been a unique experience and challenge for our teams and we’re delighted to have improved the views for all visitors – and residents!”

 

The specialist Balfour Beatty team scale the pylon to prepare it for removal

The specialist Balfour Beatty team scale the pylon to prepare it for removal

Before and after!