RSPB partners with renewable energy company, Lightrock Power

Anna Feeney

Thursday 16 December 2021

Solar panels in a fields

The RSPB is pleased to announce 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 making every single farm at least 20% better for nature.

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 turn this 2km2 of former field into a haven for local wildlife. Soon this Lightrock-planned 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
  • cutting holes 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
  • planting new trees and hedgerows to provide homes for wildlife and capture CO2.

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 their projects. With Woolpots alone they’ve altered layouts and transport routes after receiving community feedback, 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.”

Last Updated: Tuesday 25 January 2022

Tagged with: Country: Conservation Topic: Conservation