Friday 30 Jan 2004


Region & Route:
| Southern
The spirit of Wind in the Willows has come to Network Rail who teamed up with Lewes District Council to build a ‘toad crossing’ under the railway at Seaford. The work formed part of a new partnership in which Network Rail enhanced the natural habitat of Old Brickfield Nature site between Bishopstone and Seaford stations. The nature site runs next to the railway line and is a natural environment for reptiles, invertebrates and many other species. Network Rail and Lewes District Council worked hard to enhance the local environment by cutting back scrub and opening up a culvert.  The improved culvert runs beneath the railway embankment and will provide a safe passage for toads travelling from a nearby pond to the nature site. Open areas or glades have been created which provide an improved habitat for local wildlife. Reptiles can enjoy basking in the south facing glades, sunning themselves in order to warm their cold-blooded bodies and invertebrates will burrow or forage for food.  Other species such as slow worms, common lizards, grass snakes and adders will also thrive.  The rail network and associated operational land often contain species rich communities and provide an important haven for wildlife. Network Rail is committed to maintaining the biodiversity interest of railway land and carries out enhancement work where possible. Dan Ross, Lewes District Council Community Ranger said, “The Old Brickfield is an important open green space within the urban environment in Seaford. Managed by Lewes District Council in partnership with the Friends of the Old Brickfield Community Group, this site has a number of important habitats present, which are home to a variety of plants and animals. The work carried out by Network Rail will help meet some of the aims and objectives of the management plan we have for this site. We hope that this partnership can grow so that we can continue to gently enhance the area for wildlife and quiet recreation.” Robin Gisby, Regional Director, Network Rail commented, “We work hard to preserve lineside habitats and this enhancement is a good example of what can be achieved when we work in partnership with the local authority.”

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