Solar power, biodiversity banks and
We develop renewable energy projects to protect and enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity in Wiltshire. We concentrate on projects that reduce the impact of climate change and increase our energy security, whilst at the same time generating significant community benefit and supporting the local economy.
We believe a community-owned structure is the right model to create local support for renewable energy installations, and that a local and decentralised supply offers a viable and resilient business model.
Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy was created in 2013. We adopted 3 rooftop schemes from Wildshire Wildlife Trust buildings and then set about to develop more local community owned projects. Since then, we have successfully raised the necessary funds and built two community solar farms: Chelworth and Braydon Manor.
Surplus funds generated by our solar farms go into a community fund which other community groups in Wiltshire can apply to use.
Biodiversity in the UK continues to decline dramatically due to increasing intensification of agriculture, urbanisation and the impact of chemicals and other pollutants in the environment.
Since the 1930s lowland wildflower meadows have declined by 97% and hedges, home to birds and shelter for other types of wildlife, have been ploughed away to create huge fields supporting monoculture crops. Recent research has shown that where land management is carried out with a focus on wildlife, an increase in biodiversity can be seen across a range of plant and animal species.
Reflecting our origins and on-going link with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT), one of the core objectives of WWCE is: Advancing, promoting and furthering the conservation, maintenance and long term protection of wildlife and its habitats.
Land Management for Biodiversity
The provision of significant local community benefits is central to WWCE’s vision.
The Community Fund, which is administered by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) and overseen by a Community Fund Group (CFG). Criteria for eligible projects supported through the community fund include wildlife conservation, climate change mitigation, carbon reduction (including local food, transport, waste projects etc) and tackling fuel poverty.
£45,000 has been allocated to the community fund to date. In 2020 £16,500 has been awarded to local community-led environmental projects and £4,000 to Swindon Community Foundation Corona virus appeal. Please see our June newsletter for further details.
WWCE has three rooftop projects: Clattinger, Fisheries and Langford. All three projects were purchased from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) in December 2013.
The Clattinger Farm House installation is 4kW and is situated on a garage roof at WWT’s Clattinger Farm Nature Reserve. Clattinger is considered the finest remaining example of enclosed lowland grassland in the UK, and is of international importance for its hay meadow wildflowers.
The Fisheries Cottage installation also is 4kW and is on the roof of a cottage at Langford Lakes Nature Reserve. The nature reserve covers an expanse of 31 hectares, with four lakes and an 800m stretch of the Wylye River, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation.
The Langford Visitor Centre installation is the largest at 10kW and is on the roof of the Lakeside Building at Langford Lakes Nature Reserve.
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