Boundary trees and woodland not only provide excellent animal habitats but also usefully screen solar arrays from general view. Native oak, willow, hazel, blackthorn and ash are in abundance at sites such as Wilmingham and Warleigh Barton.
Meadows, grassland and wild flowers
Newer sites such as Emberton, Branston and Lackford Estate have seen species-rich, locally-suited grasses established or re-seeded according to land management plans, with medleys of wildflowers attracting a rich variety of birds and insects. At Berwick, landowners have overcome naturally marshy conditions, supporting insects, breeding birds and small mammals by planting over 900m of native hedgerow.
Ground-mount solar parks are often developed on low-grade land, to avoid impact on existing farming methods. At parks such as Rudbaxton and St Columb, livestock have been retained and replenished, allowing fruitful continuity of agricultural best practice. Sizeable flocks graze at Battens Farm, Hellums Field, Wilmingham, Warleigh Barton and Callington.
Global bee populations are severely affected by climate change yet they are critically important to farming and biodiversity. To encourage thriving bee colonies, solar parks provide ideal protected habitats and abundant food sources. Low Carbon partners with beekeepers to manage extensive hives on carefully selected sites. Five per site have been installed at Lackford Estate, Trigon, Trenouth, Hellums Field and Hope, with 10 hives in situ at Callington. Such initiatives have boosted the total bee population of our solar parks to more than two million and rising. We also farm the honey produced at many sites.