THE first transmission tower has been brought down in a project aiming to enhance scenery in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Organised by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission, this is the first of the 32 pylons that are being removed in a major project which will bring down almost eight kilometres of overhead line around Killin, in Perthshire.

Ofgem is funding the £22.3 million project which forms part of a nationwide scheme to mitigate the impact of historic electricity infrastructure in national parks.

A team has spent the last one and a half years in the national park laying down new underground cables to replace sections of the overhead line to allow the removal of the pylons.

Killin is the fourth of SSEN Transmission’s Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets and the third one in the Loch Lomond National Park.

SSEN Transmission’s project manager Alistair McDonald said the first tower felling was a major milestone in their Killin project.

“The electrical infrastructure in Killin was originally installed in the 1950s, and thanks to the funding from Ofgem we are able to remove this infrastructure and underground with cables instead, helping to reduce their visual impact in the area.

“Before we even think about removing the first tower, we had to construct the new underground section of the network, excavating trenches and laying ducts in which we installed approximately 4.5km of cable.

The National:

“Only now we know we have a reliable new section of network can we turn our attention to dismantling the overhead line.

“We are very pleased that after months of cable works, everyone will now get a real sense of what the project is all about and will see the towers come down one by one, over the coming months."

Works are to continue over the course of the next months and SSEN Transmission is expecting the tower removal to last until May.