HEDGEROW trimming has begun this week, in preparation for the construction of an improved road junction at Whiddon Down as part of the Den Brook wind farm development.

Starting on March 17, renewable energy company RES is trimming 1,500 metres of hedgerow at Whiddon Down along the A382 from the services at the A30 junction to the A3124. This work, which will take approximately two weeks, is being undertaken ahead of the construction of a new Whiddon Down link road. 

The provision of a new link road is part of a package of road improvement measures along the approved construction route to the Den Brook wind farm, which lies between North Tawton and Spreyton.

The new link road was approved by West Devon Borough Council last year.

For the safety of road users and workers, temporary traffic lights will be used for the duration of the trimming work. The work has been planned to avoid disruption for rush hour traffic with works beginning around 9.30am and finishing at 4.30pm.

RES assistant site manager Lee Robinson said: 'The preparatory works for the Whiddon Down link road have been carefully programmed to cause minimal disruption to the local community and to wildlife. 

'We are undertaking the trimming of hedges within off-peak hours to minimise any delay to journey times, while all the time ensuring a safe working environment. 

'The work will be completed before the hedgerows come into full leaf to avoid disturbance to local wildlife, such as small mammals and nesting birds.'

RES has committed to providing an annual community benefits package of £5,000 per megawatt installed once the wind farm is fully operational.

The total investment in the community is dependent on the final turbine choice, but is expected to be in the region of £90,000 per year. 

This will be divided between a Community Benefit Fund, which local people can invest in local good causes, and RES' Local Electricity Discount Scheme, which offers an annual discount off the electricity bills of nearest neighbours. 

Eligible properties will be contacted directly about LEDS and how to register for the discount in the next few weeks.