Solar Farm Abuzz with Insect Life
In June 2019, internationally-renowned wildlife photographer Sarah Cheesbrough paid a visit to one of the solar farms in the heart of England developed by the team behind Eden Renewables. Since the site started generating green electricity in 2015, the land around the panels has been carefully managed, sown with local wildflower and grass species to encourage beneficial habitats for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Wildflowers such as birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin provide an excellent source of nectar for the insects which thrive among the panels. They include the ‘common’ blue butterfly (now sadly in decline), grizzled skipper and meadow brown butterflies. Honey bees and bumble bees are also taking advantage of the rich sources of pollen from wild poppies and other species.
Our annual ecological surveys now show a greater abundance of wild flowers and grasses growing on the site, with the numbers of bumblebees and breeding birds also increasing in both species and abundance during the first four years of the site's operation.
Here are a few of the pictures Sarah took.