Valuing Nature

Lineside vegetation can pose a risk to train operation since it can cause obstructions on the line, and impede drivers’ vision.  However, managing rail infrastructure also carries a responsibility to the environment and to neighbouring communities to protect nature and diversity.  To meet both needs, RSSB has helped industry and government work together to understand the problem and agree solutions.

A review of Network Rail’s approach to vegetation management, chaired independently by John Varley, was published six months ago.

The key recommendations are aimed at DfT and Network Rail, and include clarity over policy and vision, treating vegetation as an asset and having route based delivery plans, and addressing communications and culture.

RSSB provided technical expertise, project management and the project director to the review.

John Varley has now completed a follow up report, assessing progress in delivering against recommendations. This finds significant progress and a wealth of stakeholder support. 

DfT has now published its policy position, committing to no net loss by 2024 and net gain in biodiversity by 2040.  At the same time Network Rail has published its response to the review. Together these will help make GB rail a leader in environmental and wildlife stewardship.

We are delighted to have played a role in putting rail in a leadership position in this important agenda.



Valuing nature review of progress July 2019
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Anthony Perret
Tel: 020 3142 5381
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