What will the proposed Habitat Enhancement Areas look like?
Approximately 15% of the Site will be dedicated to habitat enhancement. In total, there will be three fields allocated to habitat creation at the following locations:
- Land south of Sheepcote Lane;
- Field immediately east of Claverham Manor; and
- Area located north of Pollards Wood.
The above enhancement areas will combine areas of rough grassland with species rich grass mix, scrub and woodland.
Above: Examples of species rich grass mix meadows
These were specifically chosen due to a number of factors including:
- Improve biodiversity of current agricultural fields by enhancing habitats of importance;
- Minimise landscape and visual impacts on residential receptors;
- Improve flooding on Site; and
- Enhance setting for those using Core Paths.
Above: Treeline within Site
What biodiversity measures will be implemented across the Site?
The Proposed Development will ensure a net gain for biodiversity compared with the current, intensive agriculture baseline. This will include through the provision of new wildflower grassland across the Site, areas of tussock grassland along field margins and infilling of gaps in any hedgerows/tree lines. The habitat enhancement areas will include additional patches of dense scrub, woodland planting and pond creation.
Above: Landscaping Plan
Above: Full Site Plan
How will the Core Paths be affected?
The Core Paths (commonly referred to as Public Rights of Way – PRoW) across the Site will be maintained in their current location. They will be fenced inside the Solar Farm with a hedgerow planted along either boundary to break up views into the solar farm, creating a green corridor through sections of the Site.
Above: Example of a green corridor and hedgerow adjacent to an existing solar farm.
An access management plan detailing the diversions and management of Core Paths and public access through the Site will be implemented during the construction period to ensure the safety of the public and the accessibility of the PRoW. Protection measures within the plan will be agreed with WDC prior to construction.
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