UK solar farms to create habitats for endangered birds

7 March 2016
By Jack Loughran
Mobile version
Share |
The solar farm scheme will reinstate habitats which have been lost in the face of agricultural intensification

The solar farm scheme will reinstate habitats which have been lost in the face of agricultural intensification

Solar farm sites across the UK could be used to replicate the natural habitats of threatened wildlife such as turtle doves and skylarks under a new scheme launched by bird charity RSPB.

The project, in collaboration with clean tech company Anesco, aims to boost wildlife at the firm's solar farms across England and Wales.

Wildflower meadow areas and seed-rich planting in the ‘unused’ margins of the farms and where tracks go between the panels will help boost insects such as bees and butterflies and provide food and nesting areas for birds, the RSPB said.

The scheme will reinstate habitats which have been lost in the face of agricultural intensification, hitting farmland bird species.

It is hoped that struggling species such as tree sparrows, which have seen numbers fall by 94 per cent in the last 40 years, turtle doves which have seen an 89 per cent reduction in numbers, lapwing (58 per cent fall) and skylarks (51 per cent fall) will be helped by the project. Butterflies, reptiles, mammals and amphibians will also benefit from the scheme.

The solar project will see the RSPB advising Anesco on providing for ‘priority’ species, those in most need of help, at its existing solar farms, in places ranging from Cornwall to Suffolk, Yorkshire and the Isle of Anglesey. Their advice also will also help to inform the plans for new solar projects.                                                                                         

The RSPB are open about their support for renewable projects. Last week they announced they had finished constructing a 100 metre high wind turbine that is set to start generating power at the charity’s headquarters.

Darren Moorcroft, RSPB head of species and habitats conservation, said: "It is an excellent opportunity to develop habitats for nature in need of our help, showcasing how a renewable energy business and wildlife conservation can be delivered in unison; whilst providing clean energy and sustainable development we can still continue to give nature a home."

He added: "We're interested in renewable energy because the threat of climate change is the biggest threat to nature and to people.

"The opportunity of this partnership is both mitigation and adaptation. The panels are helping us to reduce our carbon emissions and the habitat within the solar farms can create the places for priority species to live and survive and thrive."

Adrian Pike, chief executive of Anesco, said: "We will be maximising the positive impact that our sites have for local wildlife, while focusing on supporting those species that really need it."

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Control Engineer

    Bank of England
    • Debden
    • Competitive

    We’re looking for a qualified engineer with experience of computer programming for engineering systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Bank of England

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶


Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T