Wildlife trust asks locals to chip in to solar

A nature charity is asking locals to chip in funding for a big solar farm in Swindon. It’s hoping to raise £2.7 million in shares for the solar farm which […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A nature charity is asking locals to chip in funding for a big solar farm in Swindon.

It’s hoping to raise £2.7 million in shares for the solar farm which will be built on land at the Brandon Manor Farm, near to a popular local attraction called the Maize Maze.

The solar farm is to generate up to 5 megawatts (MW) of electricity, roughly enough to power 1,400 average homes each year.

The “low-grade” land was previously used for grazing horses, according to the community energy enterprise WWCE set up by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT).

Lesley Bennett, Chair of WWCE said: “Land around the solar panels will be transformed into a wildflower meadow and become a haven for wildlife, with sheep grazing as well.”

Swindon Commercial Services already has planning permission to build the solar project. It will be community-owned with 80% of surplus profit paid to local communities, the other 20% will go to the WWT to fund its work.