Birds, bats, wildflowers, pheasants and solar panels – Saxley solar farm in bloom

We visited Saxley solar farm in Hampshire this week with Solar Power Portal to see how our biodiversity work is helping wildflowers and local wildlife to flourish since the site was installed and connected to the grid in March 2014.

Tim Rose, Director of UK Projects at Solarcentury, explained the biodiversity measures we have put in place to ensure that local wildlife is both protected during the construction of the site and in the longer term. With the site now left alone for the next 25 years, with minimal human interference, a range of wildlife and invertebrates will be able to thrive at the site. And indeed, it already is!

Nick Mann, Director of Habitat Aid also visited the site this week to review the progress of the habitat management plan. Commenting on his visit, he said, “Cornfield annuals that flowered over the summer have added some vibrant colours to the site. Now, the perennials are establishing well and will start flowering from next year. You can already see a wide range of traditional meadow flowers developing – Saxley should be a really lovely and valuable biodiversity hot spot.”

This solar farm is so well screened, it took us a while to spot it! With wildflowers in bloom, a family of pheasants running among the panels, hedging reinforced, and bird and bat boxes installed around the site, it seems that in just a few months since the site has been generating clean energy, it is already becoming a species rich wildlife sanctuary.

As a responsible developer, Solarcentury follows the STA 10 commitments, best practice in solar farm development, which includes a commitment to:

Be sensitive to nationally and locally protected landscapes and nature conservation areas, and we welcome opportunities to enhance the ecological value of the land.

Tim can tell you more about it in the video below…