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BBCT welcomes new guidance on solar farms

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has welcomed new guidance which will turn solar farms into biodiversity hotspots.

The guidance was launched at Kew Gardens this week by the BRE National Solar Centre in partnership with BBCT and other leading conservation groups.

Solar farms typically take up less than 5% of the land they are on leaving huge scope to develop protected habitats to support local wildlife and plant life.

Many species benefit from the diversity of light and shade that the solar arrays provide, including bumblebees.

BBCT already works in partnership with Solarcentury to boost bumblebee populations, which have been in significant decline in recent years.

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School playgrounds to become bumblebee havens

A total of 260 school playgrounds will be transformed into pollinator-friendly habitats thanks to a £1.3m award by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money will fund Polli:Nation - a UK-wide biodiversity project developed by the school grounds charity Learning through Landscapes.

All schools will be able to apply to participate in the programme, which will help teachers, children and volunteers make changes to their school grounds to create wildlife habitats.

This will include planting insect pollinator-friendly plants and building bug hotels and bee houses, as well as promoting changes to maintenance schedules, reducing the use of pesticides and letting areas of the school grounds become wild.

The project, which will be delivered by Learning through Landscapes together with its partners The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation and the OPAL Network, was welcomed by Bumblebee Conservation Trust chief executive Lucy Rothstein.

"It's vital that our next generation of conservationists understand the threats to bumblebees and other pollinating insects and have the knowledge, skills and resources to protect them," she said. "A project of this nature has the potential to equip a generation to protect our precious pollinator species, ensuring their long-term future."

For more information on how to get involved visit the Learning through Landscapes website.