As part of our sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to our developments, Macstellar applies a conservation grazing methodology to control grassland without the use of any pesticides, which allows to maximise biodiversity and keep pasture management interventions to a minimum because the grazing animals are able to naturally control the pasture height. At each of our sites a qualified ecologist has assisted with the development of a conservation grazing regime that is suited to the site’s characteristics and management objectives, for incorporation into the biodiversity management plan.
We choose to graze livestock at higher stocking densities throughout the year over of the solar farms, especially where the previous land use suggested higher yields or pasture quality. We usually give residence to between 4 and 8 sheep/hectare, similar to stocking rates on conventional grassland. Our most common practice is the use of our farms as part of a grazing plan for fattening/finishing of young hill-bred ‘store’ lambs for sale to market. Store lambs are those newly-weaned animals that are still growing.
On smaller sites our installations are perfect to provide a light/shade environment for free-ranging poultry (this practice is recognised by the RSPCA Freedom Foods certification scheme) – and in experience there is no risk of roosting birds fouling the modules, and laying hens and geese effectively keep the grass down.
We have found that when providing educational tours to visiting schools the grazing animals are loved by the children, so we plan to incorporate them into our educational program at the Macstellar V site.