Between 2015 and 2021, the LEI provided almost £4m for localised visual improvement projects. It has already made a positive contribution to natural beauty, wildlife and biodiversity, cultural heritage and public enjoyment. Find out about our successes so far.

Beautiful Boundaries – High Weald AONB

 

Yellow fields in front of wooded area with tips of pylons poking up

The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an internationally important landscape, characterised by a mosaic of interconnected small woods, fields, shaws and hedges – a significant portion of which are ancient and rich in different species. The Beautiful Boundaries scheme aims to restore the historic medieval landscape by regenerating ancient hedgerows to divert attention from the overhead lines.

Particular focus was placed on locations where the lines could be seen from the area’s extensive network of public rights of way, including promoted paths such as the 1066 Walk and the Sussex Border Path. Other activities included fencing woodland to prevent damage to rare plants by grazing animals and planting hedges and trees.

£200,000 was granted to the scheme in the first round of LEI funding. Over the three years of successfully delivering the project, the High Weald AONB Partnership worked with a number of landowners in the Wealden and Rother districts of East Sussex to implement the landscape improvements.

Examples of other general projects likely to be funded in the future

Localised tree planting and/or woodland creation
New tree saplings by wire fence in front of misty fields against orange sky

Projects with the aim to:

  • screen or filter specific views of pylons or sections of 400 kV overhead lines

  • re-focus or channel views affected by 400 kV overhead lines or pylons

  • where appropriate, increase tree cover to filter views and/or enhance general visual amenity of areas affected by 400 kV overhead lines

  • enhance the quality, condition and/or special qualities of the landscape.

Management, re-planting and/or planting of new hedgerows
Group of people laying hedges in a field with beautiful views

Projects with the aim to:

  • enhance the quality/condition of the landscape

  • screen or filter specific views of pylons or sections of 400 kV overhead lines

  • restore characteristic landscape features where appropriate, e.g. reinstatement of historic field boundaries.

Changes to trails, footpaths, cycleways and riding routes
Man and boy coming towards wooden gate in a dry-stone wall

Projects that might include:

  • localised diversions that may move people away from 400 kV overhead line infrastructure and/or re-focus people’s views away from the overhead lines

  • new trails that may offer alternative routes for walkers, cyclists or horse riders, with the aim to re-focus views away from 400 kV overhead line infrastructure and/or allow people to appreciate the landscape with fewer views of the overhead lines.

Projects that enhance the special qualities of landscape and may also benefit biodiversity
Sheep grazing along road in heather fields with green hills in the background

Landscape works that enhance the landscape and also biodiversity. Such enhancements may include habitat creation; in particular where such habitats are considered to contribute towards the special qualities of the National Park or AONB.

Projects that enhance the special qualities of landscape and may also benefit cultural heritage
Beautiful old stone manor building in front of yellow field with woods behind

Landscape works that enhance the landscape and also the setting of cultural heritage assets, such as Scheduled Monuments that may be affected by 400 kV overhead lines infrastructure.

Help and support

If you need any help or support, please get in touch with us.

Phone: 01285 841912
Available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank and Public Holidays)

Email: [email protected]

Post:
Landscape Enhancement Initiative
Benevity
Unit 9, Suite C&D
Cirencester Office Park
Tetbury Road
Gloucestershire  GL7 6JJ
 

LEI projects that have been funded to date