Wildlife garden takes shape at Westerfield train station

Friday, 21 May 2021

One of the new lecterns at Westerfield station's wildlife garden

A large wildlife garden is taking shape at Westerfield rail station, Suffolk, after residents won funding to transform a large area of wasteland.

Led by volunteer station adopter, Sandy Burn, the team has planted several hundred perennials, grasses and wildflowers on the 72 square metre site, and built and installed a hexagonal planter for the platform in which the 1st Westerfield cubs will plant herbs for local people to help themselves.

Informational lecterns have now been installed in the garden in partnership with the Suffolk Butterfly Conservation Trust and Friends of the Earth to help people identify the bees and butterflies they spot.

The project aims to improve the wellbeing of local people and provide a haven for wildlife.

Funding was provided by the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, Community Rail Network and Westerfield Parish Council with in-kind support from Greater Anglia and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.

In addition, Sandy is working with Network Rail on the project who are helping to provide access to water at the site.

She said, "Creating a station garden with a diverse variety of pollinating plants with different flowering times will provide a visual and memorable experience for local people and commuters, bringing benefits to the well-being of all who visit the station.

"People in the village are very interested in the project. Residents from the nearby Fairways care home for adults with learning disabilities go to the station on a regular basis to look at the trains and the station with their carers so I hope that the new planting will also help to improve their sensory input and well-being when they visit.

"The plants will also help capture pollutants, store carbon and reduce the emissions in the atmosphere."

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said: "We are very grateful to Sandy and her fellow volunteers, Laura and Yvonne, for the amazing work they are doing at Westerfield and to the community rail partnership and Community Rail Network for providing funding for this project.

"It’s great to support a project that is involving so much of the community with their local railway station.

"Wildlife friendly projects at stations like this are 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."