VIDEO: Bilsdale TV mast which serves North Yorkshire Moors felled in demolition

The 314m Bilsdale mast which was damaged by a fire in August, resulting in the loss of television and radio services in the area, has been safely felled in a controlled demolition.

By Duncan Atkins
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:11 pm

Following comprehensive investigations, the 500-tonne structure was considered beyond repair.

As a result it was brought down by a specialist team using controlled detonations in order to preserve sections for the continuing forensic investigation into the cause of the fire.

The mast was built in 1969 and has provided TV and radio services to North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and County Durham ever since.

Arqiva's Director of Engineering, Keith Frost

The direction of dismantling was specifically chosen to minimise the impact on the surrounding environment. Arqiva will also ensure the moorland is restored fully, while also taking specific measures to minimise the impact of the clean-up activity.

As the damaged mast was deemed unsafe, an exclusion zone was set up in a two-kilometre circumference around it as part of the dismantling operation.

Today’s dismantling work was not publicised in advance to ensure safety and minimise the risk to those involved in the dismantling.

A temporary, 80m tower close to the original mast is currently nearing completion which will restore TV services to more than 90% of households across the region.

Arqiva is also setting up an online hub which will provide up-to-date information on help and support for priority groups affected by the loss of TV services, including how to retune or repoint your TV. Visit for more.

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“The site is on remote moorland, and there is around 2km of perimeter that we have to secure before the mast could be brought down.

"This mast has been a part of the landscape in this area for decades, and we continue to work hard to restore TV services to those people affected by the fire.”