Volunteers from Network Rail, Frome Station Friends and The Bee Friendly Trust have installed bee-friendly planters on the disused platform to mark World Environment Day which was on Sunday 5th June.
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 the 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 honeybees 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.”
Visit Network Rail’s website to learn more about their work to protect pollinators.
To find out more about The Bee Friendly Trust’s partnership with Network Rail, take a look at their projects here.
To get involved as a Frome Station Friend, and to join the mailing list, please drop them an email.