National energy efficiency solutions company, Anesco, has joined forces with the RSPB, Europe’s largest nature conservation charity, on a pioneering new project that aims to enhance the biodiversity of solar farms.
The agreement, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will see the creation of natural habitats for some of the country’s most at risk species. It comes after research by the RSPB and other partners in 2013 revealed 60% of UK species have declined over the last 50 years.
The first stage of the partnership will see RSPB experts visiting a number of Anesco’s existing solar farm sites to advise on ways they can be further enhanced to the benefit of ‘priority species’ – those wildlife groups deemed to be under the most serious threat. These recommendations will then be used to shape Anesco’s biodiversity management plans for all new solar farm sites.
Darren Moorcroft, Head of Species and Habitats Conservation, RSPB, said: “We are happy to announce this new partnership with Anesco, building on their existing work to enhance their solar farm site biodiversity and to realise the potential they have to greatly benefit UK wildlife.
“Over the next few years we will be working with Anesco to further improve the habitats created at their solar farm sites across the UK. 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.”
Adrian Pike, CEO, Anesco, said: “Encouraging biodiversity has always been a priority for us and we’re thrilled to be working with such a respected and knowledgeable organisation as the RSPB to build on our existing commitment. With this project, which is the first of its kind for the industry, we are again leading the way when it comes to promoting a model of best practice.
“Thanks to this partnership, we will not only be continuing to create habitats at our sites in accordance with planning rules, but will be going far beyond this. We will be maximising the positive impact that our sites have for local wildlife, while focusing on supporting those species that really need it.”