Wednesday 1 Jun 2022
Bee happy: Network Rail volunteers bring a splash of summer colour to Frome station while enhancing biodiversity
This World Environment Day (Sunday 5 June), Frome’s passengers will enjoy a cleaner, brighter station environment thanks to volunteers from Network Rail, Frome Station Friends, and The Bee Friendly Trust, who’ve worked together to build sustainable habitats for urban wildlife by installing bee-friendly planters on the disused platform, matching a pair already installed at the station.
A team of volunteers from Network Rail erected new fencing on the unused platform and tidied up overgrown vegetation, making the area safe for Frome Station Friends to tend to two bee-friendly planters, purchased by Network Rail from The Bee Friendly Trust.
The Trust, which began in 2016 with the aim of increasing the number of foraging habitats for urban bees, works in partnership with Network Rail to improve biodiversity, bringing specialist knowledge to platform planters across the country.
The specially selected plants are now beginning to bloom, adding a splash of summer colour to Frome station while supporting honey bees that forage for pollen and nectar. In urban areas, bees can struggle to find enough food and their numbers have declined in recent years. By purchasing and tending to the planters, Network Rail and Frome Station Friends are showing that people and wildlife can co-exist on the railway, bringing the benefits of nature to the familiar commute and brightening up the station for passengers.
As part of Network Rail’s environmental sustainability strategy, the company is committed to continuing to look after plants and wildlife by protecting and maintaining habitats and creating new ones – like Frome’s planters – to increase biodiversity.
Aleka Toogood, Network Rail environment specialist, said: “I’d like to thank Frome Station Friends, The Bee Friendly Trust and all the volunteers for the fantastic work they’re doing to make the station a haven for bees.
“The railway plays a vital role in connecting wildlife habitats and these planters will help to support urban ecosystems by providing spaces for bees and other pollinators to thrive.
“The project offers broader social benefits for the community as well as the bees and helps connect local communities to the environment.
“There’s been a concerning decline in bees, butterflies and other pollinators across Britain and Network Rail has been working on a range of initiatives aimed at protecting these vital insects, which are crucial to a healthy environment.”
Emma Pritchard of The Bee Friendly Trust said: “We are so excited that there are now four bee-friendly planters at Frome railway station, plus an educational mural in the waiting room.
“These projects not only provide vital forage and habitats for bees and myriad wildlife, but they also demonstrate the powerful role that community spirit and creative thinking can play when it comes to supporting pollinator populations.
“We hope the planters inspire users of the station to do their bit for nature – simply putting a pot of lavender on their doorstep or creating a window box of flowering herbs can have a positive impact.”
To find out more about Network Rail’s work to protect pollinators, visit the website: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/stories/the-railway-and-our-pollinators/
To find out more about The Bee Friendly Trust’s partnership with Network Rail, take a look at their projects here: https://beefriendlytrust.org/railway-station-projects/
Notes to Editors
Photo credit: The Bee Friendly Trust
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.