TWENTY solar panels have been installed at a nature reserve on the Yorkshire coast to reduce its carbon footprint.

Bempton Cliffs, near Bridlington, is among seven RSPB-run nature reserves that have had or will have solar panels fitted after the charity secured a £710,000 loan from Triodos Bank for new renewable energy projects.

In excess of 700 solar panels will be installed at the seven sites.

It is expected that these will provide up to 80 per cent of the sites’ annual energy requirements, saving the RSPB a significant sum on its energy bill, as well as providing income from selling energy back to the grid. Any additional electricity is purchased on a green tariff.

The RSPB has also used the finance to install a new biomass boiler at Old Moor, near Barnsley and deploy energy-efficient LED lighting across 10 office locations.

The new measures are part of the RSPB’s ongoing sustainability programme, with the organisation aiming to generate at least 50 per cent of the energy that it uses from sources on its own estate by 2020, with ambitions to become carbon-neutral in the future. It has already taken steps in lowering its own environmental impact – with wind turbines at two reserves and its headquarters.