All of our solar parks are on brownfield (sites that have been developed before) or lower quality agricultural land that is less suited to growing crops. Our sites diversify the land and can help create vital havens of biodiversity where British wildlife can thrive.
Solar and UK wildlife
Research by ecologists has shown that solar farms demonstrably increase biodiversity compared to farmed or neglected land. Within a short time of building a solar park, there is a statistically significant rise in the number of bees, butterflies and wild flowers.
Expert advice on optimising biodiversity on solar farms was produced in April 2014 in partnership with The National Trust, RSPB, Plantlife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Eden Project, Buglife, Wychwood Biodiversity, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Solar Trade Association (STA).
Unless we change our energy systems, climate change will devastate our countryside. The IPCC are also clear that solar power has a huge role to play. It is particularly satisfying to see clean solar energy being used to protect the species that fossil fuels are putting at risk. The RSPB is keen to work with solar developers to help support farmland birds, numbers of which have declined dramatically.
Harry Huyton, RSPB
You can find out more about the guidance here.
Our sites are rested from chemical treatment which allows them to revert to organic status and encourages a diverse range of wildflowers to grow. We add to this by planting native species of trees and hedging around the borders of our solar parks, sourcing them from local nurseries wherever possible. As our projects are only temporary, typically lasting for 25 years, the land can easily be returned to its previous state.
We are a proud corporate supporter of the British Beekeepers Association and house apiaries on many of our sites, helping to restore vital pollinating bee populations in the area.
We provide BBKA members with a suitable 30m x 5m fenced and separately gated area with space for 10 hives and a shed for storage, to create a great place for pollinating bees to thrive.
We also create wildlife corridors for small animals such as field mice and voles, and house bat boxes and perching stands for birds of prey at a number of our sites. Due to the large space between the rows, sheep and other livestock can easily graze amongst our panels.