Popular footpath reopened for school holidays

New signage is a thank you to visitors

On 16  July, the Hinkley Connection team working in Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve met an important deadline to reopen Wharf Lane, ensuring that the reserve is accessible during the school summer holidays.

Work started in Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve in April this year to replace pylons to the east of the WPD substation with underground cables and to make changes to the substation.  To safely install the cable ducts through which we’ll pull the new underground cables, we needed to close Wharf Lane.

“Wharf Lane is a well-used footpath in the nature reserve,” said Gillian Burnell, Project Communications Manager. “To limit disruption to visitors, we timed the work to take place before the school summer holidays started. I’m delighted to say that we reopened Wharf Lane mid-morning on Friday 16 July.”

As a thank you to visitors for their continued patience, National Grid has teamed up with WPD and Balfour Beatty to install a permanent information notice board on Wharf Lane, along with a finger directional signpost. We hope these new features will enhance the enjoyment of people in the reserve and help them navigate and explore the many paths in the reserve.

As part of the reopening of the Lane, teams worked closely with site warden Iain Macfarlane and North Somerset Council to coordinate the clearing of vegetation clearance and to install new fencing to protect the enhanced water vole habitat we had created earlier. We’ll carry out planting of water vole-friendly vegetation later in the year.

These essential works have been completed on time and with the least disruption to visitors and wildlife as possible

Iain Macfarlane, site warden, commented: “The nature reserve is a popular local open space with fragile habitat and Balfour Beatty’s care and attention to detail has ensured these essential works have been completed on time and with the least disruption to visitors and wildlife as possible”.

Iain continued: “As part of the works, additional Water Vole habitat has been created and existing rhynes protected with extra fencing, as well as new site features including a noticeboard and fingerpost which will improve the visitor experience. Tree planting and Water Vole-friendly vegetation will further enhance the area later in the year.”

Find out more about future works in Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve.