Electricity North West has invested more than £700,000 to remove 2.8 kilometres of overhead electricity cables and underground them in Cumbria.

The firm, responsible for the region's power network, worked at Clesketts in North Pennines AONB, and at Helsington Church and Aughertree, near Caldbeck, both within the Lake District National Park.

These were the final two projects as part of an eight-year undergrounding programme centred on protected landscapes in the North West region.

In total, more than £7 million was spent on transferring 35 kilometres of overhead wires and poles underground.

The project was financed by Ofgem’s national undergrounding allowance.

A new five-year scheme has been agreed and set in motion to escalate the undergrounding work, especially in National Parks and AONBs.

The budget allocated for the North West region is £6 million.

Tracey Cuthbertson, who supervises the undergrounding schemes for Electricity North West in Cumbria, said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue in our work to enhance the local landscape by removing these power lines and wood poles so everyone can enjoy this beautiful part of Cumbria.

“At times, we do understand the overhead lines can impact the local landscapes and that’s why we utilise the scheme to underground overhead lines where possible.

“With funding for a further five years, we are able to continue to work with the Lake District National Park Authority to identify additional areas which may benefit from seeing overhead lines removed and undergrounded.”

The extension of the initiative is seen as a victory for persistent campaigning.

Friends of the Lake District Overhead Wires Officer Amanda McCleery said: “It has been fantastic to see wire clutter removed from different locations across the county, not just in Lake District National Park but also in North Pennines AONB.

"We campaigned heavily to Ofgem for the undergrounding allowance to be introduced back in the early 2000’s and are thrilled that, thanks in part to our continued pressure, it now continues into a third decade as there are still more lines to remove in order to improve the visual amenity of our precious landscapes.”