UK integrates solar farms with ecological restoration to boost wildlife populations

A project by wildlife charity RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and clean tech company Anesco have announced a plan to boost wildlife populations at the firm’s solar farms across England and Wales. The strategy involves restoring native plants to the marginal areas around the solar installations.

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% in the last 40 years, turtle doves which have seen an 89% reduction in numbers, lapwing (58% fall) and skylarks (51% fall) will be helped by the project.

Butterflies, reptiles, mammals and amphibians could also be helped by the move.

The 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, with the advice also helping to form plans at new sites.

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