Network Rail lends a hand at Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens

Project described as a "great success" after volunteers helped to prepare the gardens for the summer months

Network Rail volunteers helped spruce-up Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens following the completion of a project to cut trees and vegetation between Aberdour and Kirkcaldy.

Volunteers helped with general gardening work and preparing planters for summer flowers.

The vegetation project was carried out along an 8.5 mile stretch of the line to clear trees and vegetation from land adjacent to the railway and within the railway boundary.

This work was needed to keep passengers safe and trains punctual while reducing the risk for lineside neighbours. If not managed, overgrown trees and vegetation close to the railway can become dangerous and pose safety risks to trains, our passengers, railway staff and contractors, lineside neighbours and adjacent land users and owners.

Following completion of the tree and vegetation management work, Network Rail has begun implementing a range of ecology measures to minimise the impact of the work on the local wildlife.

Bat and bird boxes have been installed and habitat piles built to support invertebrates and insects to improve the overall diversity of the lineside.

Ahead of the work, environmental surveys have been carried out, with input from ecologists, and the area has been inspected for nesting birds and protected species.

Kirsty Armstrong, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail said: “While our priority is the safety and performance of the railway, we have taken a number of proactive steps to mitigate the impact of removing trees and created a mixture of habitats supporting different species alongside the railway.

“It was great that some of us were able to lend a hand at the station gardens at the end of our project to give something back to the community where we have been working for the last few months.

“We also want to thank the local community for their understanding whilst we delivered the project.”

Bill Rennie from Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens commented: “It was a delight to have Network Rail volunteers here with them achieving so much.

“Their contribution left the station gardens in really good shape and saved us at least one week’s work.

“They prepared barrel planters for summer bedding plants, cleared two sets of steps from accumulated vegetation, weeded and tidied the stone borders on platform two, and watered our planters.

“All-in-all a great success from our side.”