ENGINEERS have been taking to the skies in the Ribble Valley to help stop geese and swans from flying into power lines.

Employees from Electricity North West have been working at a height of 79ft to put more than 40 special diverters onto 274 metres of overhead power lines near Alston Reservoir, in Longridge, so the birds won’t collide with them.

Dave Kenneford, construction manager at Electricity North West, said: “The diverters will help deter the swans by spinning in the wind, making the lines easier for the birds to see and avoid.

“We take matters regarding wildlife and the environment very seriously and we work hard to react quickly to help protect birds and our customers’ power supply.”

David Morris, RSPB area conservation manager for the North West, said large birds such as swans and geese were less manoeuvrable than small birds which meant they could sometimes hit power lines.

He said: “Increasing the visibility of power lines can help reduce collision, especially close to water as birds are likely to fly low, so we welcome Electricity North West’s decision to put in place these highly visible deflectors to help protect the birds.”

Alan Wright, from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said that although he had not been made aware of any particular problems, it was good to see the electricity company making the power lines safer for wildlife.

He said: “There are swans and geese in the area because of the number of ponds and lakes near there.

“The diverters are an extra safety measure and it is great they are going to the trouble of putting them up.”