RES Solar Farm
The project could see a biodiversity net gain of 74%. Image: RES

Renewable energy developer RES is seeking planning consent from Stafford Borough Council for a 30MW solar PV farm.

If consented to and developed, the project will be operational for 40 years and feature energy storage to help “increase the flexibility and generation opportunities of the site”, RES said.

The Leaford Solar Farm, situated on land between Stallington and Saverly Green, aims to increase biodiversity by 74%. This will be accomplished by planting wildflower meadows and native trees, over 2km of new hedgerows, and installing hedgehog houses, bee banks, and bird boxes. These efforts will create essential resources for wildlife.

Claire Chamberlain, development project manager for RES, said: “With the recent State of Nature Report confirming a 19% decline in average species abundance across the UK since 1970, we must start prioritising biodiversity – and solar farms are a great way of doing this.

“Projects like Leaford Solar Farm not only deliver a significant boost to biodiversity – but are sustainable in other ways. The low intensity regime of a solar farm means that soil quality is given the chance to regenerate, helping to ensure the continued availability of high-quality agricultural acreage for future generations.”

Solar farms have been found to have a positive impact on biodiversity, with a recent report by Solar Energy UK declaring solar farms “havens for biodiversity” and noting that they play an “important role” in nature restoration. Vulnerable animal species, including yellowhammers, starlings, and brown hares, have been seen thriving on solar farms.