Published on: Wednesday, 14 June 2023
Last updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2023
Above: Two of the Attleborough station adopters, Jane Doughty and Cliff Amos with their Wildlife Friendly Station accreditation certificate. Credit: Greater Anglia
Attleborough rail station has received a ‘Wildlife Friendly’ accreditation recognising the work of community volunteers to improve biodiversity and support nature there.
Greater Anglia has partnered with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to formally recognise the achievements of its team of volunteer ‘station adopters’ to create wildlife havens at stations across its network through the new ‘Greater Anglia Wildlife Friendly Stations Accreditation Scheme.’
The Attleborough station adopter team received the award following assessment by a Norfolk Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer to determine how well the station supports local flora and fauna.
The ecologist’s report noted that the large planted border on platform 1, which is filled with perennials and shrubs, is a valuable habitat for pollinators and also dunnock and house sparrows whose numbers are in decline.
Now the group plans to plant a deciduous hedge around an area of the new car park to provide more habitat for these birds and other small creatures.
James Hogg, Development Officer at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, said: “The alarming decline in the abundance of wildlife and the plight of species under threat means that just protecting the nature we have left is not enough; we need to put nature into recovery, and to do so at scale and with urgency.
“This project with Greater Anglia is a fantastic example of how people can transform nature-poor areas into new nature-rich places – and change the way we think about land, seizing opportunities to help nature outside traditional nature reserves.”
Each assessment also offers tips and advice for how to make the stations more wildlife friendly and the reports can also be used as examples of best practices to help spread good ideas around all Greater Anglia’s stations.
Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said, “We are delighted to partner with the region’s wildlife trusts to formally recognise the valuable work of our station adopter volunteers in supporting wildlife and improving their local environment.”
“I’d like to congratulate the volunteers at Attleborough station on receiving this recognition and thank them for the incredible work that are doing that is helping to support biodiversity locally.”
Rail stations in East Anglia are increasingly becoming havens for local wildlife thanks to the efforts of over 300 volunteers who last year transformed over 7,400 square metres of land into thriving wildlife gardens.
In a recent survey, Greater Anglia station adopters reported a wide range of creatures visiting their stations including many different types of butterflies as well as bees, slow worms, bats, foxes, toads, lizards, deer and many varieties of birds, recording more than 200 different species.
Over the last 20 years, since the start of station adoption in East Anglia, the initiative has thrived, so that the vast majority of Greater Anglia stations now have station adopters. These ongoing increases in the areas adopted and the wildlife being seen on the stations show that the adopters are really playing their part in helping to make stations more biodiverse, as well as becoming more attractive gateways to the communities they serve.
Greater Anglia has also joined the rest of the rail industry in pledging to make stations across Britain more sustainable.
Action to reduce waste, support local wildlife and cut the carbon footprint of railway stations will be informed by the industry’s Sustainable Stations: Best Practice Guide, which details ways in which train operators can meet this commitment in support of global goals of decarbonisation, reducing waste and supporting local plant and animal life.
Above: Jane Doughty and Cliff Amos with their Wildlife Friendly Station accreditation certificate. Credit: Greater Anglia