Network Rail has successfully completed a project to cut trees and vegetation from land adjacent to the railway at Dalgety Bay station.
The work was needed at this site to mitigate against leaf-fall during autumn which was affecting safety and performance on the line.
Following completion of the tree and vegetation management work, Network Rail implemented a range of ecology measures to minimise the impact of the work on the local wildlife. This included retaining some trees to create a commuting corridor for creatures, installing bat and bird boxes and building habitat piles to support invertebrates and insects to improve the overall diversity of the lineside.
The work culminated in re-planting with native trees and shrubs including Hawthorn, Scots Pine, Rowan, Hazel, Birch and Alder. All tree species which are more compatible with the railway environment.
To protect and assist the tree planting, biodegradable tree shelters, mulch mats and bamboo pegs have been used instead of plastic, as a more environmentally friendly option to protect the saplings.
To help re-plant the trees, Network Rail was joined on site by local Councillor David Barratt, who represents the Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay ward. He toured the site with the project team and was shown some of the environmental features put in place to promote lineside biodiversity and to offset the impact of work in the local area.
Councillor Barratt said: “It was great to tour the site with the project team and see some of the steps that have been taken to protect the lineside environment as well as help plant saplings that will be enjoyed by future generations.
“The new lineside environment will be maintained over the next five years to manage the regrowth of woodland, to improve the biodiversity and to offset the impact of the work on the local area- creating an environment that benefits the railway but is also important to the local community aesthetically.
“Improving safety and performance on the railway is important but it’s great to see this being done while making a positive impact on the environment and protecting local wildlife.”
Kirsty Armstrong, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail said, “While our priority is the safety and performance of the railway, the way this project has been planned and delivered is really positive and demonstrates how we manage the lineside environment in a way that protects wildlife and promotes biodiversity.
“We have taken a number of proactive steps to off-set the impact of removing trees and created a mixture of habitats supporting many species alongside the railway. It sets the standard for sustainable management of the lineside environment for the future.
“We want to thank the local community for their understanding whilst we delivered the project.”
The vegetation management project at Dalgety Bay station is now complete.