Wind farm developer plans native woodland

A £60,000 forestry regeneration project is being planned by the same company who are seeking planning permission for 14 wind turbines at Quixwood, near Grantshouse.

Banks Renewables has been working with the Tweed Forum to identify a six hectare area in need of woodland generation, over and above the planting required to replace tree felling to make room for the wind farm.

Director of the Tweed Forum, Luke Comins said: “The Tweed Forum has a track record of working with the council and wind farm developers in bringing about habitat improvements.

“We were asked by the Scottish Borders Council to work with landowners and farmers to facilitate suitable habitat enhancements in the vicinity of the wind farm, after they successfully negotiated a number of habitat offset payments with developers as part of the planning process.

“Our aim is to achieve multiple benefits wherever possible. We have worked on wetland and planting creation to benefit biodiversity as well as trying to improve fishery, natural flood management, carbon sequestration and improved water quality but to name a few.

“The Tweed Forum has discussed the possibility of similar work in the Eye catchment should the development be approved.”

As part of their wind farm plans for Quixwood, Banks Renewables will need to fell 16 hectares of commercial woodland due to wind shear constraints and to minimise the impact of this the developer has designed an environmental management plan to encourage future wildlife habitats in the area.

Rather than simply replace the felled area with commercial forestry their plan, in line with the Scottish Borders Woodland Strategy, goes above and beyond the minimum re-plantation requirement and will focus on developing a positive and lasting legacy on the local environment.

Banks Renewables reforestation plan will include the planting of broad leaf native trees, heath land and acid grass, to encourage a flourishing new wildlife habitat and biodiversity on the Quixwood site.

Phil Dyke, director at Banks Renewables said: “Our development with care policy is fundamental to everything we do.

“The ultimate aim of renewable energy is to care for and protect our environment, so it is crucial that when planning wind power sites, we not only ensure that we do not cause adverse effect to the local ecosystem, but make a positive contribution to the area that can be enjoyed for years to come.

“It is really important to us that we develop a positive long term relationship with local communities and work in partnership with organisations such as the Tweed Forum to ensure that people see real, long lasting benefits from their local wind farm and can continue to enjoy their local environment.”