We believe in biodiversity
We are passionate about renewables and the environment. We work with landowners, environmental specialists and the Planning authorities to develop, build, operate and manage the solar parks in a way which minimises the impact on the environment during construction and maintenance and enhances the biodiversity for the local area. The biodiversity gains have been achieved through the development and maintenance of enhanced grasslands, protected species mitigation areas (e.g. Skylarks & Lapwing) and adapting the solar park layout and fencing arrangements to accommodate local ecology. We are also looking to reduce our energy consumption and to find ways in which we can run a more sustainable business.
Through eco-initiatives, such as sowing wildflowers and building bug hotels, solar parks can become a haven for nature. In fact, we achieve a 25% net biodiversity gain across our parks.
North Dairy Solar Park
Our new North Dairy site will include the creation of wildflower-rich grassland and native hedgerows, as well as meadow grassland beneath and between the solar panels. These measures will deliver a 54.39% net gain in Habitat Units and a 13.08% net gain in Hedgerow Units.
Akeman Solar Park
Our new Akeman site, has been sensitively designed to avoid impacts by retaining the majority of habitats of ecological importance and new habitats of ecological importance are to be created, such as neutral/wildflower grassland and scrub. These measures will overall result in a net gain of +48.80% in Habitat Units.
Enhancement of all the hedgerows results is a total gain of +51.67% in Hedgerow Units. In addition, a gain in tree numbers will also be achieved, further increasing biodiversity, as well as opportunities for wildlife.
Coldharbour Solar Park
Our Coldharbour site, will enhance the grassland in the north-western field (a desirable location due to nearby woodland), and a couple of extra suitable field margins. A further 5.64 hectares (three of the drier grassland fields) would also be enhanced to create a 37.4% net gain.
South Fambridge Solar Park
Our new South Fambridge site, will result in a significant net biodiversity area gain of 50.54% in area habitats and a significant net biodiversity linear gain of net gain of 58.92% in linear habitats. This is as a result of the retention of existing habitat and the introduction of grassland habitat of a higher ecological value, in the form of meadow grassland and linear habitat, in the form of native species-rich hedgerows with trees.
Leave and let live...
Biodiversity illustrates the vast array of life on Earth. It includes all the plants, animals, bacteria and fungi with which we share the planet. It is the range of species found in every habitat on Earth
We as humans rely on biodiversity to survive. We are inextricably linked in the big natural system of varying ecosystems, and each element is dependent on another to support and to enable us to survive and thrive.
Fundamentally humans need nature: Healthy ecosystems clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients and provide us with food.. This is precisely why we need rich biodiversity. We need a natural world that is complex, resilient, thriving and full of variety.
...the importance of Biodiversity
The advent of mass farming, factories, roads, trainlines and urban sprawl is a direct threat to these natural systems. We require more land that supports these ecosystems.
• Pollinators, are estimated to be responsible for every third bite we eat.
• Soil structure is improved with higher plant diversity and that the diverse properties of different plant roots are the key factor in keeping soil healthy. Optimising water retention, micro-organisms and carbon sequestration.
• Land left to nature could be worth more in value as soils can rest and replenish.
• Land owners can become nature conservationists
Hunting for insects and other small prey in open territory, a Kestrel perches on the array frame at Bradenstoke Solar Park. Kestrels are declining in parts of their range and need more suitable habitats.
A barn Owl seeks refuge in the array frame at Grantham Solar Park.
As predators, owls play an important role in the environment by controlling small animal populations. Helping to create sustainable biodiversity.
Mammals are a primary prey item, therefore this can be especially beneficial to humans, reducing the amount of food lost each year to rodents.
Wildflower meadow borders
Wildflowers have been sown at Freathy Solar Solar, Wildflowers provide pollinators and insects with food from leaves, pollen, nectar, shelter and places to breed. Pollinators then return the favour by transferring pollen, enabling the wildflowers to develop seeds that produce more flowers.
Tufted vetch, at Bradenstoke Solar Park, is on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list, and plants on this list are visited by flies and butterflies alike. The tufted vetch is a useful wildflower.
A Honey Bee feeds on an Oxeye daisy
A Honey Bee feeds on an Oxeye Daisy, at Hadlow Solar Park. Oxeye Daisy are a rich source of nectar for pollinators.
Knapweed at Hadlow Solar Park. Knapweed is a favourite for pollinating insects, being a source of good quality nectar. As well as supporting bees, butterflies and beetles, its seeds provide food for many birds.
Field Scabious at Bradenstoke Solar Park, it flowers all summer long from July to October providing high quality nectar for bees and butterflies and produces up to 50 flowers at a time. The flowers are an important nectar source for Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Painted Lady butterflies.
A Gate Keeper Butterfly on a Spear Thistle
At Bradenstoke Solar park, Thistles supply nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators, producing more nectar per flower head than almost any other wildflower. But for the caterpillars of the Painted Lady butterfly they are also their main food source.
A Ringlet on Common Ragwort
At Bradenstoke Solar park. A native plant to the UK, Ragwort supports a wide range of wildlife, playing a vital role in the ever diminishing biodiversity in the UK. Common ragwort is understood to be home and food source to at least 77 insect species in the UK. Over half of these use ragwort as their exclusive food source.
Marbled White Butterfly on a Spear Thistle
Marbled White Butterfly at Bradenstoke, It shows a marked preference for purple flowers such as Wild Marjoram, Field Scabious, thistles, and knapweeds.
A Peacock Butterfly on Common Knapweed
Black-tailed Skimmer Dragon Fly
A Black-tailed Skimmer Dragon Fly at BradenstokeDragonflies are important to their environments both as predators (particularly of mosquitos) and as prey to birds and fish. Because these insects require stable oxygen levels and clean water, scientists consider them reliable bioindicators of the health of an ecosystem.
Roe Deer in the Dandelions
Roe Deer in the Dandelions at Rodbourne Solar Park
Common Poppy on the Fence Line
A Common poppy on the fence Line at Bradenstoke Solar Park. The Common poppy is now in decline due to intensive agricultural practices. Despite not producing sugary sweet nectar, bees love poppies because they provide lots of pollen.
Hedgerow Crane's-bill climbing around a cable guard
Hedgerow Crane's-bill at Bradenstoke. The larval food plant for some moths and butterflies, and nectar for bees and butterflies.