Mend the Gap has £750,000 for Mitigation Projects within the programme area.
Mitigation Projects and schemes will help to directly mitigate (reduce) the harm done to the AONBs by the electrification of the Great Western mainline.
Mitigation projects will soften the visual impact of the electrification by screening, masking, distracting from or breaking up views of the gantries and other electrification equipment.
We anticipate that most Mitigation Projects will take the form of tree planting and/or hedgerow restoration.
As well as screening/masking the electrification equipment, these projects have potential to bring about wider benefits including biodiversity enhancements, creation of new habitat, supporting nature recovery and building resilience to pressures such as ash dieback and climate change.
Mitigation Projects can take place on private land but the benefits should be available to locations or viewpoints that are publicly accessible (ie from footpaths, roads, bridleways, rivers etc) so that the benefits of the project are available to the wider public.
All projects must be suitable in terms of species and habitats and compatible with the landscape character of the AONBs.
Mend the Gap can contribute towards the costs of:
Research has already been undertaken to priority identify locations where tree planting and hedgerow restoration will have the greatest benefits in reducing the visual impact of the gantries. In the first phase of the programme, the focus will be on developing mitigation schemes in the priority locations.
Maps of the priority locations are available from the Programme Manager.
Although the priority locations will be the initial focus, other locations where mitigation planting will contribute towards reduction of the negative impacts of the railway electrification, will also be considered in a later phase as opportunity and need arise and subject to budget availability.
Contact us if you would like to know more or to discuss a possible Mitigation Project.
Jo Watson, Mend the Gap Programme Manager
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