RSPB partners with renewable energy company


The RSPB has announced a partnership with Lightrock Power, a solar farm company on a mission to help wildlife while providing cheap, renewable electricity.

Solar farm development companies in England have a legal requirement to make their farms at least 10% better for nature (10% Biodiversity Net Gain), but Lightrock have doubled that - committing to improving each of its farms by at least 20%.

The RSPB's new partnership with Lightrock Power aims to improve habitats for wildlife while providing affordable, clean energy (RSPB).

Through the partnership, the RSPB will advise Lightrock on how to make that commitment a reality, and even push beyond it. At Woolpots Solar Farm in North Yorkshire, for example, the RSPB provided advice on how to create a haven for local wildlife.

Soon this Lightrock-planned solar farm will deliver a net gain of 208% for nature, due to a wide range of actions including sowing wildflowers to provide food for pollinators, creating gaps at the bottom of fences to create 'hedgehog highways', gathering cuttings of wood into piles to give a home to invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, putting up bird and bat boxes, and planting new trees and hedgerows to provide homes for wildlife and capture carbon.

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This is all on a solar farm that will be able to power up to 15,000 homes or 19,000 electric vehicles a year, saving up to 21,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Lightrock, a small company of five founded in 2017, is also committed to involving local communities in all its projects. Through listening to local communities it has altered layouts and transport routes, funded high-vis jackets for a local Scouts group, and invested in drainage to decrease local flood risk.

Chris Sowerbutts from Lightrock said: "The wide-ranging expertise RSPB can offer us through our partnership is exactly what we need to help us achieve our aim of exceeding industry best practice. We are thrilled to be working with them to explore new methods of designing nature-friendly solar farms."

Welcoming the partnership, Sam Tarrant, RSPB Business Conservation Partnerships Manager, commented: "The team at Lightrock are a real example of how businesses can be allies for nature, tackling the biodiversity and climate crises head-on. We are so excited to be partnering with them and finding ways we can work together to revive our world."