The skyline is changing in west Dorset as radio towers are pulled down as part of efforts to restore a prominent site and give it back to the countryside.

Work is underway to demolish eye-catching structures at the former transmitter station at Rampisham Down.

The 180-acre site is next to the A356 Maiden Newton to Crewkerne road.

British Solar Renewables (BSR) wanted to build a huge solar park on the site, but after a lengthy planning battle has shelved its plans and will instead build its park on a site nearby.

As part of the planning permission, BSR is working with Natural England to restore the transmitter station and make it a home for wildlife.

Rampisham Down was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2014 for its special grassland and heathland habitats.

All but one of the original telecommunications towers, which helped to broadcast the BBC World Service in Europe, will be removed.

The remaining tower will become a nesting platform for peregrine falcons.

Demolition work comes six years after the final broadcast from BBC Rampisham Down.

Graham Harding, BSR’s MD and CFO, said: “Working with Natural England has been a very positive experience and BSR is really pleased to have been able to contribute to the restoration of the site.”

Working closely in collaboration with Natural England, BSR will remove the towers during the summer to minimise the impact on the largest expanse of unimproved lowland acid grassland in Dorset.

Other improvement works include the installation of bat and bird boxes as well as burrowing holes for the migratory wheatear bird.

Natural England’s area manager Fran Davies, said: “It’s great to see how this partnership has developed, and the removal of these towers is a further step towards enhancing this important site. I look forward to seeing both the partnership and the site go from strength to strength.”

Through careful management of the land, including making the site safe for cattle grazing, it is hoped the acid grassland will be protected from the advancement of gorse and 

The future of the former telecommunication station buildings remains under discussion with various commercial and residential uses under consideration, subject to planning.