School holidays mark the end of an era for pupils in Avonmouth

When pupils at Avonmouth C of E School and Nursery return after the holidays, they will experience a whole new view. The, 132kV electricity pylon that has loomed over the school’s forest area will have disappeared.

The pylon has been removed as part of the Hinkley Connection Project. The new high voltage electricity line – comprising 27 new lattice pylons in Avonmouth - has been re-routed in the area, enabling the removal of the existing line over Avonmouth School and Daisy’s nursery.

The wires between the pylons which over sailed the school playground were removed in spring 2023.

To remove it, the top of the pylon was attached to the crane before being cut at the base of the legs and removed in a single lift. The pylon was then cut into smaller pieces by an excavator whilst suspended from the crane until the tower was dismantled. The steel was removed from site and will be recycled.

To help mark the occasion, Avonmouth pupils swapped the looming pylon for a mini model of a T-pylon – the new design that is being used between Bridgwater and Portbury. They were awarded the model for taking place in National Grid’s T-pylon time capsule challenge.  Along with other primary schools close to the new  Hinkley Connection route, the children have prepared a time capsules which have been sealed inside the new T-pylon structures.

The operational life of the 35m tall new T-pylon, which is smaller and takes up less land than traditional 400kV pylons, is around 70-80 years. The children hope whoever removes them in several decades’ time will have snapshot of what life was like for them at the time the new T-pylons were built.  Avonmouth School’s capsules has been placed inside pylon LD107, just south of the River Avon.

Steven Haskayne, Senior Project Manager on the Hinkley Connection Project, commented: “The Hinkley Connection team have been working closely with the school as part of the pylon and conductor removal programme, and we have been delighted to be able to support them with school projects as well as remove the pylon and conductors from the school site.

We are proud to have funded new playground equipment, laptops and a new woodland area. The woodland area has been transformed into a usable space which is both educational and fun, providing the children with a space to learn about biodiversity.”

By 2026 a total of 67 kilometres of overhead line (249 pylons) will have been removed to make way for and improve the visual impact of the new 400kV Hinkley Connection Project which will connect six million homes and businesses to new sources of low-carbon, homegrown energy including from the new Hinkley Point C power station.