SITE Operators of Bilsdale transmitter Arqiva have provided a second site update on the construction of the new 80-metre temporary mast.

The infrastructure company say they are working with environmental experts to protect the Site of Special Scientific Interest to ensure it acts quickly to build the new temporary mast.

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It was announced on Tuesday that work had begun on the construction of the new temporary mast on Monday September 13.

According to chief executive of Arqiva, Paul Donovan, the new temporary mast will be constructed in 21 days.

Once finished and operational, the 80-metre mast is expected to provide Freeview TV signals to an area covering over 90 per cent of households ordinarily served by the damaged Bilsdale mast.

Alongside construction work, Arqiva is consulting with ecologists at the site in order to protect the moorland environment.

Arqiva say ecologists have attended the site to complete surveys and carry out sensitive habitat clearance in small, discrete sections of the Bilsdale moor.

The works have been completed to ensure the construction of the temporary mast avoids impacting the local heathland and wildlife.

According to site operators a detailed heathland recovery strategy, which will be implemented as the temporary mast is removed, has been created.

Heather that has been cleared to make way for the mast base and anchors will be re-seeded as well as the sourcing of the correct type of stone to interact with the surroundings.

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Flood lights, allowing for overnight working on the remote site, will be solar powered, reportedly removing the need for diesel burning generators.

Adrian Twyning, chief of operations at Arqiva, said: “The site at Bilsdale is unique and complex, and we have worked closely with the landowner, Natural England and others to ensure that while we act as fast as we possibly can to build this mast, we do not ignore our clear obligations to the natural environment.”

“Our team is working tirelessly to deliver our recovery plan at Bilsdale, and to date we have been able to return a signal to upwards of 500,000 households using existing and temporary infrastructure around the area usually served by the Bilsdale mast.”

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