Network Rail transforms Northamptonshire working compound into habitat to protect wildlife



A national rail company has turned a work complex in Finedon into a habitat to protect wildlife, following major rail improvements.

The land near Finedon Station Road was used by engineers as they carried out electrification work as part of the £ 1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade. After the rail improvements were completed in April, Network Rail and engineering company Amey developed the first specific habitat as part of an innovative protected species management project.

Tara Scott, Road Infrastructure Engineer for Network Rail, said: “As we do essential work to improve the railway, we continue to look for innovative ways to boost biodiversity. We are committed to turning this land in Finedon into an area for wildlife once we’re done using it and it’s great to see progress on our first new habitat.

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(Left to right) Hamish Critchell-Ward, Cllr Clive Hallam, Tara Scott, Cllr Lora Lawman, Cllr Harriet Pentland

“We would also like to thank the residents who live near the Finedon Station Road site for their patience while essential railroad upgrades have taken place. Now that the working enclosure is gone, the new site will attract wildlife to the area.

About 40,000 tonnes of materials were removed from the site to allow teams to complete landscaping work for the new nature reserve. The material that has been moved is being used by local businesses and for another site, which means that none of it has been landfilled.

The site will contain ponds – which will be ideal for the crested newt – as well as meadows, wetlands and open woodlands. Trees and plants will attract birds, butterflies and bees.

Senior Environmentalist at Amey Consulting, Michael Whitehead, said: “We have applied our expertise in environmental consulting to create a diverse ecological habitat in support of Network Rail’s journey towards net gain in biodiversity.

The Finedon work enclosure has been transformed into a specific habitat to protect wildlife.

“This project presents a strong example of sustainable thinking with clear benefits for the local environment and neighboring communities, as well as reduced carbon emissions in the planned tree planting and the reuse of all infill materials. own site engineering. “

Network Rail carefully planned the project with the aim of providing faster and more reliable rail services to passengers, while increasing biodiversity and mitigating the impact of major works on wildlife.

This meant that instead of installing fences and then moving crested newts from yards, crews could protect their habitat by helping to increase their population.

Councilor Harriet Pentland, Executive Member of the North Northamptonshire Council for Climate and Green Environment, said: “Protecting our green environment is a key priority for the council and we are committed to working with partners to ensure this occur in the region.

Butterfly on the Finedon site.

“We are delighted to see this ancient compound site transformed into a pocket of wilderness ideal for supporting abundant wildlife. Not only is this important for nature, it also helps enrich our lives.

“The project also diverted materials from landfill by intelligently reusing them – an innovative way to reduce our environmental impact. “



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