Darsham rail station receives ‘Wildlife Friendly Station’ status

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

adopter, Annette Day receives the accreditation

adopter, Annette Day receives the accreditation. Credit: Greater Anglia

Darsham 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.’

Darsham station adopter, Annette Day, received the award following an assessment by a Suffolk Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer to determine how well the station supports local flora and fauna.

The ecologist’s report noted the bright, colourful flower tubs and window boxes on the platform and station building provide food for pollinators and the grassy and shrubby areas at the station provide habitat opportunities for small invertebrates and shelter for birds such as dunnock.

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 Annette at Darsham station on receiving this recognition and thank her for the work that she is doing to help 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.