RHS Science gets a buzz from solar power

The RHS Field Research Facility has finally got its solar panels installed successfully and is using them to power most of the electricity required in the building

You may remember a strip of dirt appearing a couple of months back between our Plants for Bugs plots and the research building – well now we can see the results.

Solar panels at Deers FarmApparently, technology in solar energy has come on so much that in the two and a half years between the Field Research Facility being built and the solar panels being installed, the panels fitted now take up half the space the equivalent panels would have done if fitted in 2012. That’s a relief as they may have scared away our bugs if they were any bigger!

Spreading bark at Deers FarmOur volunteers have been busy on site over the last few weeks, catching the sunny days to get work completed before winter sets in. One way to keep warm is to spread bark. With the solar panels now in place, the closest we could get the pallets of bark dropped off was near the far end - so it was a case of heave-ho over the fence into a wheelbarrow. Only 90 bags to go!

Helen Bostock speaking at the Natural Buzz symposiumOn Friday 14 November I was invited to speak at a super symposium that launched a new pollinator initiative in Wales called ‘Natural Buzz’. It is being run by Keep Wales Tidy in partnership with the HTA and Green Space Wales and aims to get lots of communities and local authorities planting for pollinating insects such as bees and hoverflies.

The venue at the renovated Orangery at Margam Country Park was stunning, though the bright sunshine pouring in through chinks in the tall orangery windows didn’t make seeing the slides too easy. It was well attended with lots of enthusiasm for supporting our pollinating insects. We wish them every success in getting Wales buzzing.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.