Volunteers turn Greater Anglia rail stations into wildlife havens this Spring

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Greater Anglia rail stations are set to become wildlife havens this Spring thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers.

Together, the train operator’s team of station adopters – who help to look after their rail stations for the benefit of their communities – are planting and caring for gardens at rail stations across the network which will provide habitats for local wildlife as well as making the stations more welcoming.

In total over 5700 square metres of gardens will be tended to this year – the equivalent of 29 tennis courts.

In addition, the volunteers will plant over 200 planters for platforms at stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

The gardens, some of which have been developed over many years, are becoming havens for local wildlife populations – with the railway increasingly being recognised by ecologists as a ‘green corridor’ which provides a sanctuary for many different kinds of flora and fauna.

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, deer and many varieties of birds.

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said, “Thanks to the care and attention of our team of station adopters, we have thousands upon thousands of plants thriving at our rail stations which helps not only to make them more welcoming, but are benefiting the environment too.

“Many of these gardens have been designed to be wildlife friendly, enhancing biodiversity and providing food, shelter and breeding places for many different types of wildlife.

“Some of them are becoming really magical places as a result, helping to support rare types of wildlife and benefiting their communities by helping to improve the local environment and existing more harmoniously with their rural surroundings.”

“This is all helping the railway in East Anglia to lead the green revolution by being a much greener way to travel - and our new fleet of trains will contribute even more thanks to their more environmentally friendly features which reduce CO2 and particulate emissions in the region further still.”