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Frequently Asked Questions

A community benefit society (CBS) is an incorporated industrial and provident society that conducts business for the benefit of the community. A CBS trades to generate income to support its community purpose. CBSs are owned by their members who have a one member one vote say in annual general meeting decisions such as the election of directors. CBSs operate in accordance with their governing rules which set out the community purpose, the rights of members, how the CBS is governed and an asset lock. The asset lock ensures surplus profits are used towards its community purpose.

CBSs are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), separate to the FCA’s role as financial ombudsman. A CBS can raise finance by issuing shares or bonds to the public and pay a reasonable rate of interest.

The land under and around the solar panels is managed to maintain a species rich meadow of grasses, herbs and wildflowers and encourage wildlife and biodiversity. After the solar farm was installed in 2016, the interior of the solar farm was seeded with a Emorsgate ‘Special Old Fashioned Grazing Mixture which will be managed through grazing. The field margins have been sown with a Cotswold Seeds floristically enhanced mix. Both mixes include a variety of grasses and wildflowers. Some of the wildflower species present in the mixes used are: Birds Foot Trefoil, Red Clover, Yarrow, Common Knapweed, Sainfoin and Ribwort Plantain. The wildflower meadows provide a diverse environment attracting insects and other invertebrates including butterflies, bees, birds and mammals. The thatch formed by the grasses and herbs on site provide valuable habitat for invertebrates, small mammals, moths and butterflies. In addition, to the above bat and bird boxes have been placed in multiple locations around the site and woodpiles have been placed along the fence line to further enhance habitat opportunities. This array of habitats provides an invaluable mosaic for biodiversity enhancement.

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Peter Bonsall


An engineer by trade, Peter began his career working for a Canadian mill in the 1990s, contracting wood floors in the UK into Wickes and Screwfix. Peter’s passion for high quality design and workmanship led him to set up his own workshop, Blueridge, which has become one of the UK’s most respected producers of bespoke hardwood flooring and joinery. Peter served as Parish Council Chair during the planning and construction phase of the Solar Project. After his tenure he moved to serve on the Board of SHCE and Sheriffhales Solar CIC and helped to create the Charity SaCREC for distributing the funds generated by the community solar array to community projects in the Parish.

Neil Pulker

Neil has lived in Sheriffhales for some twenty-five years, having had a successful career with a premium car manufacturer, in various roles. As well as being involved in business consultancy, he has numerous charity interests, which has included mentoring sixth form students, to help them identify career opportunities, and so achieve their aspirations and ambitions. He is involved with various charities as a Trustee, ensuring they comply with the Charity Commission’s governance requirements, and ensure a secure financial future.  Neil believes strongly in assisting those less fortunate, often with mental health issues, achieve a more rewarding life and become the best that they can be. When asked how he saw solar energy he said “Simply put, I see it as putting the sun to work!”

Peter Frith

Peter lives and works in Shropshire. He is a Chartered Architect with 40 years’ experience, and formed Frith Architects in 1988. The practice now trades under the title Studio Severn Architects Limited and Peter remains a Director. He was Chair and governor of Moorfield Primary School from 1998 to 2009 and a Vice Chair and governor of Burton Borough Secondary School, from 2009 to 2015.

Richard Maddocks

Managing Director of his family farm for the past 20 years, Richard is heavily involved in the local community. He has been on the Parish council for 8 years and last year he was the President of Newport Agricultural Society. Richard is passionate about the local community and how it will benefit from Sheriffhales Community Energy.

Christopher Andrew

Chris works within the IT & Telecoms industry having worked on various large-scale projects with some of the biggest companies in the UK. He has an interest in emerging technology and renewable energy. Having recently moved to Sheriffhales from a nearby town, he has joined the SHCE board as he believes initiatives such as SHCE are key to helping both the local community thrive and help the country achieve sustainable long-term energy.

Pat Kind

Patrick worked for 52 years in the construction industry on local authority housing, roads and sewers, motorways, schools, and housing. Retired at 69 and involved in the local village with the solar committee, he looks forward to being an active member and director of Sheriffhales Community Energy. His interests include football, golf and spending time with his two sons and four grandchildren.