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Solar Farms Good for Bees and Biodiversity
Research by an ecological consultancy into the effects of solar farms with good land management on biodiversity has shown very positive results, especially for butterflies, bees and birds as well as grasses and wildflowers.
The benefits are widespread and down to several factors. Firstly solar farms are usually sited on low-grade agricultural land previously cultivating mono-crops such as wheat and so switching to an electricity crop and allowing the rest of the field to green up will naturally see an increase in biodiversity.
Secondly, it’s said we’ve lost 97% of wildflower meadows since WWII which has been devastating for our bee population.
According to TWIG these essential pollinators are responsible for one in three mouthfuls of food we eat. Solar farms are great wildflower habitats and therefore provide good nectar sources for pollinating insects.
TWIG also notes that solar panels are raised above the ground on posts, therefore 95% of a solar field is still accessible for plant growth and potentially for wildlife enhancements and even grazing.
The fact that solar farms are protected, secure environments also makes them ideal habitats for wildlife. According to Solar Power Portal, studies in Kent have shown that lizards and slow worms moved onto a reptile-free field within six months of it being put down to panels.
Other positive factors include the preservation of hedgerows and the reversibility meaning that greenfield remains greenfield.
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