Steel yourself for new pylon

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For most people, they are one of the least-loved features of our countryside.

But now electricity pylons, which have barely changed since the 1920s, could be getting a makeover through a competition to rethink their design.

It comes as Ministers and industry say new pylons and infrastructure will be needed as the UK hooks up the equivalent of 20 new power stations over the next decade.

The competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and National Grid is calling on architects and engineers to come up with new designs.

The present design for the 50-metre high steel lattice towers, chosen by leading architect Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1927, makes them resistant to high winds and lightning strikes and able to cope with the load and tension of the cables.