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Environmental analysis of honey-bearing flower meadow

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Environmental analysis of honey-bearing flower meadow

Ecosystems’ restoration is an important activity of the Polenergia Group that we implement during the development of our projects.

This strategy does not involve the implementation of only new biodiversity initiatives, but also analysis of the existing solutions to see how they actually affect the natural environment. On the basis of results of such analyses and consultations with experts, Polenergia prepares action plans aimed at pursuing long-term activities for the benefit of the environment.

One example of such activities is the honey-bearing flower meadow and the apiary established in Spring 2020 at the site of the Sulechów I Photovoltaic Farm located in Kruszyna in the Sulechów commune.

Why are flower meadows so important for biodiversity?

They offer shelter for small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and pollinators, including bees, which have a very important role in the ecosystem. According to United Nations estimates, bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world’s crops. A flower meadow for pollinating insects provides abundant food, shelter, but also a place to breed. A flower meadow also has a complex plant root system that can normalize water relations by retaining water and having a beneficial (positive) effect on the groundwater balance.

After more than a year of functioning of flower meadows at the Sulechów I Photovoltaic Farms, in Q2 2021 the Polenergia Group carried out a unique environmental audit consisting in a comparative analysis of the Sulechów I Photovoltaic Farms area, which is covered with flower meadows, and the neighboring areas in terms of biodiversity. The purpose of the analysis was to find out whether and how the area covered with a meadow enriches local biodiversity. The analysis carried out by naturalists has shown that the area of the Sulechów I Photovoltaic Farms has a positive environmental impact. It is not only a habitat for many pollinating species, but also for many valuable bird species from the so-called “key group” (valuable, receding, with limited quantities). The observed species nest within the area of the farm; they roost and forage for food while being protected from potential predator attack, because the area is fenced. The fences are installed in such a manner so as to enable migration of animals, i.e. they are slightly lifted off the ground.

The Polenergia Group has already planned to create more flower meadows at the facilities that are currently under construction, i.e. Sulechów II and III Photovoltaic Farms and the Buk Photovoltaic Farms, the construction of which should begin in the second half of 2021. In order to optimize the mixture of seeds, Polenergia has conducted an additional assessment of the composition of perennial, biennial and annual plants (29 species in total). The purpose of the analysis was to increase the base of melliferous plants (and consequently increase the amount of nectar and pollen) and to improve living conditions for pollinating insects such as bumblebees, bees, butterflies, beetles.

Developing flower meadows is yet another measure undertaken as part of the “Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet” initiative implemented by UNEP/GRID-Warsaw, which the Polenergia Group joined on 5 June 2021 on the World Environment Day. This year’s main theme is “Restoration of Ecosystems”.

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