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How do you feel about solar farm development in your area?

Tuesday 1 August 2017, 18:47
By Caitlin Hafferty

The beautiful Elliscombe Farm Jersey herd overlooking the Hook Valley solar farm
The beautiful Elliscombe Farm Jersey herd overlooking the Hook Valley solar farm

Cardiff University student, Caitlin Hafferty, is currently conducting a study into the impact of solar farms on local communities in Somerset. Take a short survey to have your say on the solar farms that have popped up in Wincanton and the surrounding area.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article – I hope to provide a little information about who I am, and the nature of this research project.

Originally from Bruton, I’m now a Master’s degree student currently studying Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy. I will soon be starting a PhD with the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) and Cardiff University’s school of Geography and Planning.

Caitlin Hafferty, Master's degree student at Cardiff University, originally from BrutonFor my research dissertation I am conducting a study into the impact of solar farms on local communities in Somerset, and will be working to publish a paper based on the results of this dissertation over the next year.

The main aim of this study is to encourage a more sensitive approach to renewable energy planning and development in rural areas, by looking at what people value most about their local community and environment and how solar fields fit in with this. Whilst there are many existing studies on wind energy, little attention has been paid to the development of large-scale solar farms. I believe it is very important to fully understand public attitudes towards particular renewable energy technologies, and the impact such developments can have on local people and their environment.

I have chosen to base this project in Somerset as there are a large number of solar farms across the county, often on rather controversial sites. It is also an important area for me personally, as I grew up in the area before moving to Cardiff.

The project primarily focuses on Wincanton and the surrounding area, as it has seen the development of a number of solar farms in recent years, but is of course applicable to other towns and villages in Somerset which have experienced solar farm development. The majority of the information for this study will be collected through an online survey, which I have designed so that anyone (from Wincanton and the rest of Somerset) can contribute by sharing their thoughts and opinions.

To take part in the online survey, which will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete, please follow the link below. Many thanks in advance for your response – your input is hugely appreciated, and is really important for this research project.

Click here to take the survey:

If you have any queries regarding this project, please do not hesitate to contact me at .


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