A new solar farm was officially opened by the Mayor of Verwood, Cllr Pat Morrow with landowner Andrew Gent and Ben Hill of Homeland Solar Farm on 27 June 2014 at Three Legged Cross. The event also saw the launch of the new community fund and included a free hog roast and free drinks supplied by the Tickled Pig courtesy of Homeland Solar Farm. Guided tours of the farm were given on the night, Verwood Concert Brass provided light entertainment and there was face-painting and bouncy castles for the children.
The free party attracted crowds of people to the remote spot, which is now home to a 12.8MW solar farm off Ringwood Road. Hugh Green from Verwood is a staunch supporter of solar panels and said, “We have 18 panels on our garage and have already received over one third back in our electricity costs, which has paid for the panels.” He couldn’t praise the new solar farm enough. Local landowner Mr Miller said, “It’s such a good idea, they can use my land too if they like.”
Tash Dennis one of the seven strong committee members said, “I was worried how the panels would impact on the horses in the area, but they take no notice of them. The solar farm is only doing good. It’s wonderful and everyone involved has been so considerate during the works and they have made good all the paths.”
Ben Hill said he was very pleased that so many people had taken the opportunity to look round the solar farm, “It helps you understand it’s really good for the benefit of you all.”
Three Legged Cross appears to have embraced its solar farm, which will not only inject £13,000 every year during the solar farm’s life into a fund to be spent on anything that benefits the community, but will also provide electricity to the grid for the next 20 years. The committee, chaired by Catherine Stevens, will manage the fund and applications for grants can be made by the folk of Three Legged Cross to the secretary Jill Reed on 01202 829689. Treasurer Cllr Jane Russell said, “The first money will be allocated on 24 July and we expect to make grants twice a year.”