Treswarrow Solar Farm, in North Cornwall, is a 6.5MWp solar PV installation on 34 acres of lower grade land which was completed in March 2015. Treswarrow Solar Farm has been designed to create a biodiversity hub, with an ecological exclusion zone incorporated around the site to ensure no hedgerow, woodland, marshy grassland or stream habitats are lost to the solar farm – not one tree or hedgerow was disturbed during the project.
Meticulous thought was given to the ecology of the site, not only to protect the species already inhabiting the site but also to encourage more species. Below is a round-up of some of the actions we took during the installation phase and the promises we have made for the future.
- There was no illumination on site at night to protect bats and badgers.
- No materials were stored in the exclusion zone.
- A temporary fence provided a 5m buffer around the site to ensure the workers or materials did not impact the hedgerows or stream.
- The fence tape near the stream was a different colour to the rest of the site to avoid disturbing otters who do not like bright colours.
- Planks were laid in any trenches we dug to ensure badges or other mammals could climb out.
- The solar farm was built quickly out of bird breeding season and while dormice were hibernating.
CleanEarth promise for the future:
- Hedgerows and mature trees will be maintained to promote dormice, breeding birds and bats on site.
- Additional planting of trees, shrubs and hedgerows is planned throughout the site.
- Creation of species rich grassland habitat throughout the site (outside of stock proof fence).
- Sewing wild flower meadow mix of seeds– flowers will encourage bees, insects and butterflies which in turn will encourage other species such as bats.
- Following guidance of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust which includes a buffer zone for the bees.
- The species encouraged to site will increase the potential for foraging bats.
- Bat boxes will be installed on the mature trees by a qualified ecologist.
- Dormice boxes will be placed in the enhanced hedgerows around the
- Badger gates will be placed throughout the stock fence in locations recommended by an ecologist.
Treswarrow Farm, in North Cornwall, is home to South West Seeds, owned by Richard Jones and family and is the base for Richard’s company South West Seeds Ltd.
Richard Jones said: “The planning of Treswarrow Solar Farm has been four years in the making. The vision was for a solar production plant producing clean and sustainable energy, whilst maintaining the agricultural production of the land. Not forgetting the strong conservation theme which will involve planting several acres of wild flower meadows and also planting pollinator friendly trees for screening purposes.”