T-shaped Cross Arms

Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve works – summer 2022 update

What visitors to the reserve will see this summer

To protect wintering birds and other wildlife, National Grid schedules its construction activities within Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve to take place between April and September.

What will I see this summer?

July and August

  • Construction of the foundations for the two T-pylons within the reserve
  • Clearing vegetation to maintain the site and measures to protect wildlife ahead of installation of the wires between the pylons by early 2024
  • Installation of underground cables in the cable ducts between the substation and the new cable sealing end pylon (where underground cables meet overhead lines) erected in the port
  • Scaffolding for works to connect the new cables into the substation


  • Delivery, assembly and erection of two T-pylon structures by crane
  • Removal of four 132,000 volt pylons to the east of the substation

A wide range of measures to protect the local ecology and wildlife, such as Great Crested Newt fencing and grills and safe access for cattle, are constantly monitored, checked and adapted as the type of works change or move location.

There may be short term restrictions on Wharf Lane for safety reasons during certain construction activities. Updated information signs will give people advanced notice of this work.

Reserve Warden, Mia Calderane (Glendale), and Clerk of Works, Iain MacFarlane (North Somerset Council), work closely with National Grid and Balfour Beatty, conducting regular walk throughs to check the work is being carried out as agreed and to their satisfaction.

All works in Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve, including reinstatement of the land back to its original condition will be completed by 2024.

Since starting works in 2020, National Grid’s contractors have:

  • Installed a temporary access on Sheepway and a construction road in the reserve.
  • Installed new underground cables and removed 132,000 volt pylons around the substation.
  • Completed ducting to install additional cables this summer.
  • Created working areas and completed piling for the construction of two new T-pylons.
  • Improved pathways, signage and fencing on Wharf Lane near to the substation.

All whilst working in partnership with North Somerset Council to maintain safe access to keep the reserve open to those who love to enjoy it!

To register to receive project updates direct to your inbox, or for questions about National Grid’s works in the reserve, contact the community team 24 hours a day on 0800 377 7347 and [email protected].