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6 December 2008
Clear views ahead for British Iron Age farm

Unsightly power lines that have been on the blot on the landscape of a beauty spot in Hampshire (England) are to be removed. A total of 150,000 is to be spent removing overhead power lines from a vast area near Clanfield. More than two miles of cable will be taken down in the area around Butser Ancient Farm, some of which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The power lines are currently on high wooden poles but Southern Electric Power Distribution plans to bury the cables underground around the farm, which is a replica Iron Age farmstead.
     Environmentalists are happy as it will mean unspoilt views of the countryside. Martin Beaton, officer for the South Downs Joint Committee, which asked for the work to be done, said: "We're delighted that the power lines are coming down and the views will be restored. We've been working closely with Southern Electric, Butser Ancient Farm and other landowners to ensure that the work will not damage this sensitive area."
     Southern Electric project engineer Peter Jordan-Gill said: 'This is a beautiful part of Hampshire, with fantastic views over rolling countryside, and this work will make it look even more stunning.' The work on the power lines is set to take place over the next six months. Engineers will use a high-tech drill to 'thread' cables underneath roads. They will use a technique called 'mole ploughing' to lay cable in fields. The method causes minimal disruption to the terrain by carefully threading the cable beneath the ground.
     Steve Dyer, archaeological director at Butser Ancient Farm, said: "We will be extremely pleased to see the overhead power lines and poles removed as this will give a more historic view and setting to the Iron Age and research and educational centre, particularly at the entrance to the site where these features are particularly obvious."

Source: Portsmouth.co.uk (6 December 2008)

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