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Protecting thousands of migrating birds in Lancashire

More than 30,000 pink-footed geese and whooper swans migrate to Martin Mere in West Lancashire every winter from Iceland.

To ensure the skies are safer for the birds we have embarked on a new project with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Martin Mere in Burscough to help raise the visibility of our overhead powerlines.


The solution

The project will reduce the risk of birds flying into the 1.6km of live electricity lines near the reserve by putting two types of bird diverters – special attachments to the lines – to ensure the cables stand out to large birds which have poor manoeuvrability.

As part of our ongoing flight diverter programme we will be sponsoring a student from Lancaster University to research and analyse the efficiency of the two diverters over the next year. The vital results will be used throughout the North West in any future diverter installations.

Steve Cox, future network manager for Electricity North West, said: “We hope that the diverters and our subsequent research will go on to help birds and electricity customers across the UK.

“By working closely with WWT Martin Mere we discovered this was a sensitive section of the network as it was located in a known flight path and we are delighted to be able to help protect these wonderful birds.

“By limiting the chances of any collisions, the special diverters will also reduce any possible impact on customer power supplies.” 

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After successful completion of the project we look back on the full story.



Major incident

Engineers are working to restore power to properties after severe flooding in Lancashire and Rochdale.

We are doing everything we can to restore power and we'll update you regularly on our news section and TwitterFor emergencies, please call us on 0800 195 4141.