Landscaping partners ready for planting season

A further 1,260 trees to be planted by March 2022

The colder temperatures herald the start of the planting season and National Grid’s landscaping partner, Ground Control has been working hard in the background getting everything in place to tackle its biggest winter season of works yet on the 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.

With every tree and hedgerow planted, we’re a step closer to improving the landscape for local people

Half of the planting works will compensate for tree and vegetation clearance undertaken to make way for new pylons, cables and substations. National Grid have pledged to replace 4 trees for every 1 tree felled and to replace on a 1 for 1 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 work this season involves planting on 84 separate landowner sites, bringing the total to over 200 sites to date. In addition to this, there will be landscape work to screen two substations in Loxton and Sandford. These sites require extensive preparation and documentation to ensure that they align with DCO and landowner requirements, as well as ensuring our teams are working safely.

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.”

Chris Green, project engineer for National Grid adds, “We’re all set for the biggest winter of planting on the project yet. Landowners have given great feedback on Ground Control’s work to date, and we look forward to delivering planting on 84 more sites this year.

“With every tree and hedgerow planted, we’re a step closer to improving the landscape for local people and to meeting commitments made during the planning stages of the project.”