Dear WWCE Members,
We hope you are keeping well and coping with the difficult times we are all sharing and enjoying the sun and wildlife when you can.
Energy Generated this quarter
On the 26th of March, WWCE’s solar arrays contributed to a new UK record, when nearly 37% of UK power was provided from renewables.
April 2020 was the sunniest on record. Whilst this adds to the ringing of climate alarm bells, our solar farms made the most of it. For example, at Braydon, generation in April was nearly 13% above the long-term average.
Over the last 12 months, generation has exceeded long-term projections by over 8% in total.
In response to the Corvid 19 crisis, WWCE have provided £4,000 of funding to the Wiltshire and Swindon Community Foundation Corona virus appeal. This grant will go towards alleviating food poverty and/or the supply of food and care packages for people impacted by the virus and its social and financial relations.
In March 2020 WWCE awarded £16,500 of community grants to the following organisations:
Zero Chippenham - awarded £3,500 to support the group as they lobby and develop support for a number of new solar rooftop projects in Chippenham.
God Unlimited (GUL) - awarded £1,800 to support the development of a forest school and conservation area and group, working with students with additional needs in South Wiltshire.
Action for River Kennet - awarded £4,300 to work with local community groups and schools to run fun education sessions about water conservation and to teach people how to construct rain gardens for home and community spaces.
LifeCycle UK - awarded £2,500 to place 20 bike racks in key locations around North Wiltshire to encourage more cycling.
Lea & Garsdon Primary School - awarded £2,800 to support a theatre project and whole school environment project aimed at teaching the children about conservation and sustainability. This is on hold, just now, but hope to get going in September.
Additionally 10% of awarded grants is assigned to WWT for running and managing the funding process.
Since our last update, we have agreed a new Land and Ecological Management Plan for our Braydon site with our contractors. Unfortunately a combination of planning issues and the impact of the coronavirus shutdown has prevented us proceeding with the plans to create new ponds on site. We are continuing to explore options for this though.
In better news, it’s wonderful to be able to bring some good cheer that the recent warm spring weather has allowed us to introduce our new bee colonies to our thermosolar beehives at Chelworth. Readers of previous newsletters and attendees at last year’s AGM will remember that these special hives use the power of the sun to raise the hives’ internal temperature to kill off the nasty Varroa mite without harming the bees. WWCE is one of four community solar sites in the UK to be able to trial these new hives to try and reduce the impact of the Varroa parasite without the use of chemicals. You can learn more about the thermosolar project at the Naturesave Trust website here. Thanks to Naturesave for kindly providing the special hives for us and sponsoring the project!
Also at Chelworth, we have recently agreed a new land management and ecology contract with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The new contract reflects the changing fauna and flora on site and allows for some new works including extending and deepening the pond to provide improved habitat.
Change in member registrar to Ethex
As of the beginning of May 2020, the Registry records for Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy shares were transferred from Neville Registrars to Ethex Registry, a part of Ethex Investment club. From now on, Ethex Registry will be the key point of contact in relation to any matters of member shareholdings. This service stores your shares certificates in a digital format and you are able to access your records online and print out certificates at any time via the Ethex Registry Portal - https://registry.ethex.org.uk/.
Login details and information on how to use the system will be sent to you directly by Ethex Registry, but if you have any questions at all about your holdings, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Ethex for help on email at email@example.com or by phone on 01865 403304.
WWCE’s 2020 AGM will be held in September, probably online. We would welcome interest from members with appropriate experience in joining our board of volunteer directors.
WWCE Shareholding and Registry matters are administered by Ethex Registry, for matters relating to certificates, holdings or withdrawals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01865 403304.