NextEnergy Solar Fund takes great care in developing and implementing effective biodiversity measures, with almost half of invertebrate pollinator species facing extinction, NESF recognise that action required to reduce biodiversity loss has never been more important.
In addition to a wide range of biodiversity initiatives, NESF have set up 28 beehives on a number of solar farms across the south of the UK, including Devon, Essex and Somerset. Solar Farm Honey has been farmed from honey bee’s located on the solar sites since 2017, and managed by the British Beekeeper’s Association, a dedicated team with a shared passion for the health and welfare of honey bees. So far, Solar Farm Honey has been farmed from over 1 million bees, and has also supported the ongoing training and development of multiple beekeepers across the UK.
Bee’s provide a critical function in the health of agricultural food production and wildlife, with almost 80% of leading global crops depending on pollination. Despite the crucial role honey bees play, their population has suffered a long term decline. A number of factors have contributed to their decline, such as intensive farming practices, which cause a substantial loss of habitat.
To allow the honey bee population to recover, and to increase pollination levels, NESF have sown an additional 34 acres of wildflower meadows across NESF owned solar sites. As a result, there has been a direct positive influence on nearby crops.
NESF aims to continue this exciting and important initiative, creating biodiversity ‘hubs’ that benefit many different stakeholders and the planet as a whole. So far, almost half of NESF’s portfolio has enhanced biodiversity measures, supporting the global goal of “nature-positive by 2030” and “nature-recovery by 2050”.
NESF are also dedicated to an increasingly biodiverse future through their focus on scientific training and research. NESF have partnered with multiple Universities to identify further opportunities to enhance the natural landscape on the solar sites, leading the way within the solar sector.