Newts, orchids, and archaeology – these are a few of my favourite things


Those of you following our progress will know that we are now into the delivery or “doing” phase of the pv project. Keith and I expected many many discussions on panel and inverter specification; how to connect the pv generation to the property and other such practicalities. We also realised that being The National Trust that we would also have other elements to consider such as aesthetics and mitigation.

This week though has provided a few new surprises that also have to be included :

Does your connection cable pass close to medieval landscapes?

How close is your nearest four thousand year old cromlech?

I must say that the archaeological method statement and watching brief that Kathy Laws our archaeological consultant has provided is fascinating, providing valuable and practical information and guidance.
We are also working with our ecologist, conservator and nature conservation consultants to ensure that the finished pv scheme integrates well with both designed landscapes and hay meadows.

My personal favourite though has to be the identification guide and method statements developed for sharing with contractors on “what to do in the event of newts”! Not a conversation and training course your average pv installer takes part in every day of the week.We are currently working with newt specialists – yes indeed – to build a temporary home for any we may find. It did lead Keith and I to wonder what your average newt families home looked like – a 1930’s semi, or as we are the trust, a grade 2 listed neo-classical mansion?

In fact your average newt temporary homestead is a carefully designed and constructed stick and brick affair to ensure a safe haven until they can be returned to their original location.

For me, this is all the really interesting stuff that ensures the project will deliver an exemplary result, as well as providing knowledge, much scratching of heads, and quite a few laughs along the way.


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