© Northern PowergridThe skies above Doncaster in South Yorkshire are now safer for thousands of birds thanks to the efforts of the Canal & River Trust and Northern PowergridThe Canal & River Trust, the charity which looks after Doncaster’s Stainforth & Keadby Canal has worked with Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the region’s electricity network, to help save Yorkshire’s swans, geese and other wildfowl with the installation of special ‘flight diverters’.
Thirty brightly coloured, special attachments known as ‘flight diverters’, have been installed by engineers from Northern Powergrid along 300 metres of power lines located at Lock Hill in Thorne next to the Stainforth & Keadby Canal in Doncaster. The ‘flight diverters’ which are suspended from the power lines, will help to increase visibility of the lines to birds, particularly those flying from nearby Staniland Marina.
The Canal & River Trust contacted Northern Powergrid to request the installation of flight diverters following the report from a member of the public of a dead swan who had flown into the power lines next to Doncaster’s Stainforth & Keadby Canal, a waterway looked after by the charity.
Jonny Hart-Woods, Senior Ecologist at the Canal & River Trust said: “Collisions with power lines are a major cause of serious injury for large species such as swans, geese and other wildfowl that cannot change direction quickly. These birds can accidentally fly into power lines because they do not see them at all, or they see them too late to react and they’re injured, which often in this situation proves to be fatal.”He added: “It’s great to see the flight diverters installed to make this waterway safer for our feathered friends. We’ve been impressed by the responsiveness to our request by Northern Powergrid and see this improvement in place in just a few weeks.”
Mark Firth, Overhead Maintenance Coordinator at Northern Powergrid, said: “It is wonderful to be able to make a real difference to the local wildfowl population and enable the birds to avoid our power lines. The highly visible balls are located at nine-metre intervals along a 300 meter stretch and allow the birds to avoid the power line because they see the light panels. Lines without diverters are very hard to see for flying birds so they highlight the overhead power line and make it much more visible.”