Network Rail has launched its Biodiversity Action Plan, which lays out how the company intends to protect, manage and enhance the condition of its biodiverse assets over the current five-year Network Rail funding cycle (Control Period 6) and beyond.
The Biodiversity Action Plan is about land by the railway that’s managed sustainably to enhance safety and performance and to improve the environment for the railway’s customers and neighbours.
Although rail is already one of the greenest ways to travel, Network Rail is committed to making it even greener. It will be forming and maintaining partnerships with its stakeholders and neighbours to maximise the benefits a well-managed transport infrastructure can bring for biodiversity. The Biodiversity Action Plan commits the infrastructure owner to the key goal of no net loss in biodiversity on its lineside estate by 2024, moving to biodiversity net gain by 2035.
As part of the plan, Network Rail has pledged to create appropriate habitats elsewhere on, or beyond, its estate to offset any impacts where it is not safe or practical to mitigate biodiversity loss associated with management actions.
To this end, it is working with The Tree Council to plant 20,000 trees around the country by Christmas and another 60,000 by the end of March 2021. “We’re absolutely committed to making a real difference to our environment,” explained chief executive Andrew Haines. “Decarbonising trains, using greener forms of energy, reducing waste, helping our passengers make greener choices – and planting more trees is a huge part of that.”