Skylark’s and their new relationship with Solar

Sparrow sitting on a solar panel

As someone who values both environmental sustainability and the protection of wildlife, I was thrilled to come across a recent article highlighting the potential of UK solar farms to serve as wildlife havens.
It is crucial to address the decline in skylark populations and find ways to protect and support these iconic birds.
Skylarks have been facing a significant decline in recent decades, with numbers plummeting by 63% across England from 1967 to 2016. The primary culprit behind this decline is agricultural intensification, which has disrupted the skylarks’ preferred habitat and reduced their food supply.
Interestingly, agricultural land that is suitable for solar farms also happens to be a potential home for skylarks. This raises speculation about the impact of solar arrays on these birds. Skylarks prefer nesting in open fields without tall structures obstructing their view, making solar farms seemingly incompatible with their nesting preferences. However, there are mitigation options available to minimize any potential negative impacts.
One effective approach is the implementation of skylark plots within or near solar farms. These plots, ideally at least 16 square meters in size, can provide suitable nesting areas for skylarks. Data from various UK solar farms have shown instances of skylark nests within the secure fencing surrounding the arrays, demonstrating the possibility of supporting nesting skylarks within solar farms.
Reports from ecological consultancies indicate the presence of skylarks on 50% of monitored solar farms in 2019 and 31% in 2020. They were observed foraging in the grassland habitat within the arrays, likely searching for plants or insects. Solar farms that enhance biodiversity can potentially benefit skylarks by increasing their food supply.
Let’s celebrate the potential of solar farms as habitats for skylarks and contribute to the preservation
of our natural world. Together, we can make a positive impact on our environment and ensure a
brighter future for both renewable energy and biodiversity

You may also like these