THOSE walking in the Slimbridge countryside recently may have seen something rather unexpected as the regional power distributor uses a novel method to replace electricity pylons.

Those who live or walked in the Shepherd’s Patch area of the village may well have seen the aircraft lifting the tall structures high into the air before taking them away.

It forms part of Western Power Distribution’s £12m project of installing new network equipment and cables to provide an improved electricity supply across Gloucestershire.

A WPD spokesman said: "The new circuit will run along the Severn Estuary and will involve pylons being built in an innovative way to condense the build time, and minimise crop damage and disturbance to land owners.

"The pylons are pre-assembled off site and then airlifted using specialist helicopters in two or three sections at a time to their final locations where they will be carefully dropped onto pre-prepared foundations."

The project is expected to be completed next year.

Peter Gibson lives next to the field where the work was being carried out and admitted he had never seen anything like it.

"It was very exciting. You do not see that everyday," he said.

The former electrical engineer, who took the pictures, said he saw them cutting down the structures before the helicopter took them away.