Local staff and volunteers transform railway wasteland into flourishing nature trail
Nature trail opposite Shoeburyness station
A railway wasteland has been turned into a thriving nature trail rich with fruit trees and wildlife, including the threatened bumblebee, thanks to the hard work of c2c staff and local community volunteers.
As part of National Express rail operator c2c’s biodiversity project, the wasteland opposite Shoeburyness station was cleared of rubbish and litter by volunteers to make it a more accessible and pleasant environment for both rail users and the local community.
During the clear-up, the volunteers who worked tirelessly to clear the waste and removed over 50 bags of rubbish, were pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of fruit trees and bushes that were found including apple and plum trees and many blackberry bushes.
The area has now been totally transformed and features a pleasant meandering path lined with woodchips and surrounded by trees and bushes that are no longer being strangled with ivy. Seeds and saplings have also been planted and there are numerous bug homes and bird boxes in the trees and along the path in the form of rotten railway sleepers.
The project was as part of our biodiversity plan to sensitively develop, manage and conserve local biodiversity along the c2c route, especially targeting areas that would be accessible to local Scout and Guide groups and primary schools.
c2c also worked with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which supports biodiversity schemes to help UK bumblebees thrive, Railscape, which were particularly helpful in providing logs from their vegetation clearance duties along the route and RHS Hyde Hall, which provided valuable advice on which plants and flora to grow in the area.
c2c ticket office staff member Pam Bann is the local champion for the Shoeburyness wildlife trail and manages its upkeep. Pam said: “This has been an incredibly rewarding exercise and something we should be proud of. The local residents, c2c staff and Railscape have all contributed to making this something the local community can enjoy and I’m thrilled all our hard work paid off. I’m so proud to be involved in turning a complete wasteland into such a pleasant environment. “
The site has since been adopted by the Shoebury Scout Group and has been visited by a number of nurseries and schools as well as passengers and local residents.