Battlesbridge rail station receives ‘Wildlife Friendly Station’ status

Published on: Thursday, 25 April 2024
Last updated: Thursday, 25 April 2024

station adopter, Chris Honeyman, receives the accreditation

station adopter, Chris Honeyman, receives the accreditation. Credit: Greater Anglia

Battlesbridge 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 region’s Wildlife Trusts to formally recognise the achievements of its teams of volunteer ‘station adopters’ to create wildlife havens at stations across its network, through the new ‘Greater Anglia Wildlife Friendly Stations Accreditation Scheme.’

Battlesbridge station adopters, Nathan Dodd and Chris Honeyman, received the award following an assessment by an Essex Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer to determine how well the station supports local flora and fauna.

Father and son team, Nathan and Chris, have been working to support wildlife at the station by extending the garden area and creating a wildflower meadow and caring for the mature trees around the station, which are an important habitat for solitary bees.

The ecologist’s report noted that the mature trees around the car park are a valuable wildlife corridor, helping creatures such as bats, birds and hedgehogs to commute between areas of the village and surrounding land.

James Hogg, Development Officer at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the lead Trust for the initiative, 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 practice, 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 Nathan and Chris at Battlesbridge station on receiving this recognition and thank them for the incredible work that they 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 9,000 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.

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.

station adopter, Chris Honeyman, receives the accreditation

Above: Battlesbridge station adopter, Chris Honeyman, receives the accreditation. Credit: Greater Anglia