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Blooming Biodiversity: UK study highlights solar park's positive impact on bees and butterflies

New research reveals that well-managed UK solar parks can provide essential resources to combat the decline of bee and butterfly populations.



A new study led by scientists at Lancaster University, in collaboration with the University of Reading, sheds light on the potential of UK solar parks to bolster bee and butterfly populations, if managed correctly. Published in Ecological Solutions and Evidence, the research provides the first peer-reviewed field data on insect pollinators at 15 solar park sites across the UK.


The increased numbers and biodiversity of pollinators within solar parks were mostly

attributed to the presence of a wider range of flowering plant species. As pollinating insects face

alarming declines, the study emphasises that solar parks offer a promising avenue to restore

crucial resources for these species. This is exactly what Heart of England Community Energy’s

land management plan aims to do and we are carrying out annual surveys to confirm progress.


"Pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies have been in dramatic decline in recent years and there is a need to restore more resources for these species in our landscapes. One potential option is to use sites such as solar parks to help benefit biodiversity – however, until now empirical evidence has been lacking around how, and which, solar parks might best support pollinators." Hollie Blaydes, Study Lead Author and Senior Research Associate, Lancaster University

 

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