North Somerset power lines protesters in 'Save our Valley' demonstration

Placard-waving protesters chanting 'Save our Valley' held a demonstration outside a public exhibition detailing plans to put towering pylons through the North Somerset countryside.

More than 40 people waving signs reading 'Save our Valley – Say NO to pylons' and 'Save our Countryside' staged the protest outside the exhibition being run by National Grid at the Scotch Horn Leisure Centre in Nailsea.

National Grid wants to create a new overhead 400,000-volt power line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth to bring electricity from the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point on to its transmission network.

The power giant is looking at a series of options for the new line, along two route corridors – one of which would cut through the countryside from Wraxall to Backwell and east Nailsea.

The line would come over Wraxall Hill and past the school and church and then down alongside The Elms before crossing Backwell Common, going along the railway line and Backwell Lake towards Youngwood Lane.

The other option is to use corridor one which runs along the western fringes of Nailsea, close to local homes.

If the scheme gets the green light, the pylons would also increase in size from 25 metres high to 45 metres – nearly 160ft.

Fiona Erleigh, who lives in west Nailsea, said National Grid was trying to divide the town. She said: "National Grid pick two routes either side of Nailsea for these pylons as an underhand ploy to split the town.

"We have joined forces and are working together to make sure this scheme does not go ahead."

The Save Our Valley campaign has now attracted more than 2,000 members and a website has been set up – www.save-our-valley.co.uk – as well as a Facebook page.