Let’s bee friends: Govia Thameslink Railway prepare for World Bee Day

Groundwork East's Matt Sutcliffe and GTR Station manager Fiona Blackwell ready Sandy station's bee garden for World Bee Day
Groundwork East’s Matt Sutcliffe and GTR Station manager Fiona Blackwell ready Sandy station’s bee garden for World Bee Day. Photo: Groundwork East

Passengers and pollinators can now enjoy a colourful new bee garden at Sandy station in Bedfordshire.

Created in time for World Bee Day (May 20), the garden project is a partnership between Great Northern and Thameslink’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and environmental charity Groundwork East.

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The plants are all selected for their flowers, which are especially attractive to bees and other pollinators. They include lavender, sage, echinacea, verbena and sedums. An interpretation board on the fence will explain the different species and the benefits that pollinators bring to the world.

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The GTR-Groundwork partnership has also brought new plants to the platforms, again with species beneficial to pollinators.

Building back greener

Chris Dungate, Groundwork East’s Operations Manager, said: “It’s great for us to be working with GTR on creating a new pollinator-friendly area at Sandy station.

“We hope commuters and station staff enjoy the new planting, and we look forward to being involved in looking after the area and making further landscaping improvements at the station going forwards.”

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Sandy’s bee garden is one of five being planted as part of GTR’s multimillion-pound station improvement programme.

The others are at fellow Bedfordshire station Flitwick, Palmers Green and New Southgate in North London, and Newhaven Harbour in East Sussex. All were suggested by local people when GTR consulted passengers and community groups about their priorities for improvements.

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said: “We’re making stations more attractive for our passengers, and more sustainable assets for their local communities.

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“These bee gardens are a great example of how we’re doing just that. We’re proud to be working with Groundwork East, among hundreds of partners across our network, to support the post-lockdown recovery – building back better and greener.”

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Sam Hewitt