The text below is the transcript from the 'Ecological Activity at ScottishPower Renewables' Onshore Windfarms' video. An audio-described version of the video is also available.
Video Title: Ecological Activity at ScottishPower Renewables' Onshore Windfarms
ScottishPower Renewables is committed to over 200 ecological activities on our onshore windfarms, the majority of which concern the restoration of degraded habitat, creation of native woodlands and species monitoring.
We strive to maximise opportunities to deliver high quality environmental outcomes and create an overall net gain for species, habitats and biodiversity as a whole.
For example, the footprint of our infrastructure at Whitelee Windfarm is around 97 hectares whereas the land that is benefitting from positive habitat management is over 2,500 hectares.
Since 2008 SPR has invested over £4.5 million into our ecological commitments providing opportunities for local companies and contractors.
Most of our habitat management work involves the restoration of blanket bog which has been degraded through a legacy of drainage for agriculture and commercial forestry plantations.
Bogs provide a vast and natural carbon sink and are capable of storing over 15 times more carbon than an area of woodland of the same size.
Bogs in Scotland store around 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon which is equivalent to 140 years’ worth of Scotland’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions.
SPR has so far committed to restoring 8,500 hectares of degraded bog - the equivalent area of over 5,500 football pitches. This work is vitally important to the conservation of bogs and their role in climate change.
Scottish Power Renewables is at forefront of research and innovation into habitat restoration. The importance of this work to the wider conservation community was recognised by RSPB at the 2015 Nature of Scotland awards where SPR were awarded the Sustainable Development Award for their innovative bog restoration work.
Quote from Toby Wilson, Senior Conservation Officer - RSPB
Scottish Power Renewables is also delivering around 500 hectares of new native woodland planting with one project alone planting 220,000 individual trees. This will provide many ecological benefits and support priority species such as black grouse, red squirrel and pine marten by creating and maintaining high quality habitat.
Quote from Brendan Turvey, Strategic Planning Manager Renewables - SNH
With ScottishPower now producing 100% green electricity from renewable sources we are committed to ensuring that the development of renewable energy creates opportunities to enhance important habitats and support biodiversity, providing long term ecological benefits. We are a company at the forefront of research and innovation in many aspects of windfarm and wildlife interactions, maintaining our reputation as a responsible developer and strengthening our ambition to deliver a better future, quicker for everyone.