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Nature / Seven-hectare woodland planned for Viking Energy borrow pit site

Image: SSE Renewables

SEVEN hectares of woodland could be created near the South Nesting area as the Viking Energy wind farm project finishes construction.

Developer SSE Renewables is looking at an alternative way to reinstate one of its wind farm borrow pits – or a small quarry – by making the land suitable for tree planting.

It said the area in question, at borrow pit NBP05 north of Catfirth, could provide space for up to 6,000 plants, trees and shrubs.

The project would be developed in conjunction with Shetland Amenity Trust.

There would also be paths created through the woodland for walkers using the wind farm tracks.

A planning statement said: “It is not believed that the creation of this area will create a conflict with the surrounding habitat or the wildlife utilising the wider area.

“Both the woodland and the surrounding areas will be monitored for any negative changes.”

Generally borrow pits will be reinstated to make them like they were prior to construction.

But through consultation with the amenity trust, the area at NBP05 could be specifically capped with topsoil and a fertiliser mix in preparation for planting.

The plants would include “downy birch, common alder, eared willow, salix multinervis, dog rose, juniper, rowan, aspen and hazel”.

“A surface profile will be formed that will manage the surface flow of water to create ponds and wetlands across the woodland,” the planning statement said.

“This mosaic of habitats will increase biodiversity within the woodland and will benefit the surround habitats and wildlife.”

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