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RWE volunteers join forces with Bumblebee Conservation Trust to fill pollinator forage gap at Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm

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  • RWE volunteers at Brechfa Forest Wind Farm plant native wildflowers and shrubs to support local ecosystems and pollinators
  • RWE’s  biodiversity restoration programme enhances conditions for pollinators across four wind farms in the UK and Ireland
  • Programme part of wider partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to identify opportunities to improve sites for pollinators

Wales, 29 May 2024

In a dedicated effort to enhance local ecosystems and support pollinator populations, a team of volunteers from RWE’s Brechfa Forest West Onshore Wind Farm joined a plug planting day organised by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Together, they planted a variety of native wildflowers and shrubs, with the aim of making a significant impact on the local environment and encouraging bees and other pollinators to thrive.

RWE, the largest power producer and renewable energy generator in Wales, initiated a biodiversity restoration programme in 2022. This programme aims to improve the ecological value of sites at four RWE onshore wind farms in the UK and Ireland. Recognising the vital role that pollinators play in sustaining food supply, the project supports bees, moths, butterflies, and hoverflies by creating environments where they can flourish.

Toby Rumble, ecologist at RWE, expressed his enthusiasm: “Our recent site survey at Brechfa Forest identified a critical need for flowering plants that bloom in early spring and late summer. Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of our volunteers, we are closing this gap and providing greater feeding opportunities for a more diverse assemblage of pollinators during these crucial periods.”

One of the key strategies of RWE’s biodiversity programme involves allowing native flowering species to flourish and bloom during July and August, providing a vital late-summer food source for pollinators, which traditional mowing practices would typically suppress. This simple yet effective approach has already shown promising results.

Tom Bucker Flynn, bumblebees project officer at Bumblebee Conservation Trust, commented on the collaboration: “It’s been incredible working with the RWE team at Brechfa Forest wind farm. As part of the habitat management plan, we’ve planted over 400 native locally sourced plug plants that will help benefit a range of pollinators when they most need it.“

Volunteering events like the plug planting day not only benefit the environment but also offer participants a chance to share their enthusiasm, skills, and ideas while having fun and meeting like-minded people. The recent plug planting day is just one of the ways RWE is working to improve habitats for pollinators, with the potential to make a substantial impact on the local environment.

RWE has a successful history of delivering onshore wind in the UK. It already operates a portfolio of 33 onshore wind sites with a combined installed capacity of 735 megawatts (MW), and now has three further projects with a combined installed capacity of 169 MW currently under construction in Scotland.

Pictures of the Volunteers Planting Day for media use are available at RWE’s Media Centre. Credit: RWE.

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