UMBRELLAS mimicked solar panels in an experiment to assess how a new eco-project would affect the landscape near Charlbury.

More than 100 residents took their brollies on Saturday to the 30-acre site of a proposed £5m solar farm at the Cornbury Park estate, where 22,000 panels would be placed to generate power.

It was organised by Sustainable Charlbury, the group behind the Southill Solar scheme, which had plans turned down by West Oxfordshire District Council in May.

Planning officers said it would blight the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but the group intends to resubmit plans in November.

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The group invited residents to stand with umbrellas in various positions in the field, holding them 2m off the ground to reflect the maximum height of the panels.

They were photographed from five key viewing positions on surrounding footpaths to determine what impact it would have on the landscape.

Project manager Tim Crisp, a director of Sustainable Charlbury, said: “We will adapt our designs to remove them (the panels) from the most visible areas.”

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