Eco friendly water saving solution boosts wildlife garden at Westerfield rail station

Thursday, 17 February 2022
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Adopter Sandy Burn at Westerfield station
Above: Adopter Sandy Burn at Westerfield station Credit: Greater Anglia

Westerfield rail station’s wildlife garden has received a boost with the installation of a permanent and eco-friendly water supply to help keep plants in perfect condition.

The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership and Community Rail Network, working with train operator, Greater Anglia, has funded the installation of a water butt on the Ipswich / Felixstowe bound platform to help the team of volunteer station adopters to get water to where it is needed more easily.

Rainwater is collected in the butts via the waiting shelter’s gutters, creating an environmentally friendly alternative to using a mains supply, saving water and providing an onsite supply throughout the year.

One water butt holds enough to fill up a watering can 25 times.

Aaron Taffera, Chair of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, said, “The team of volunteer station adopters do an absolutely amazing job that is appreciated by everyone who lives near or uses the station. The huge, wildlife friendly garden they have created is delighting visitors and contributing to improved biodiversity locally. We, and our partners, were only too pleased to provide funding to help make life a little easier for the team and make the garden even more sustainable.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “Wildlife friendly projects at stations like this, coupled with the more environmentally friendly features of our new trains, not only bring huge benefits locally but are helping the railway in East Anglia to lead the green revolution as the most sustainable way to travel.”

Greater Anglia’s team of station adopters – who help to look after their rail stations for the benefit of their communities – increased the total area of station garden across the network by 14% last year and devoted much of it to creating wildlife friendly areas.

Across the network the volunteers have transformed land the equivalent of five Olympic-sized swimming pools into thriving gardens.

Left to right, station adopters, Laura Hadgraft, Sandy Burn and Yvonne Maynard
Above: Left to right, station adopters, Laura Hadgraft, Sandy Burn and Yvonne Maynard. Credit: Greater Anglia.

The new water butt.
Above: The new water butt. Credit: East Suffolk Lines CRP

Sandy watering the living roof on the station's insect hotel.
Above: Sandy watering the living roof on the station's insect hotel. Credit: Greater Anglia

Westerfield station's wildlife garden last summer.
Above: Westerfield station's wildlife garden last summer. Credit: Greater Anglia