Changes to the profile and content of the landscape (e.g. planting and landscaping) to create a natural barrier between pathways and railway property.

This can operate in several different ways.  Structural changes through landscaping can make trespass seem a less attractive proposition and influence attitudes or activities leading to trespass.  Landscaping can also direct and support correct behaviour and movements along safer routes.  Physical restrictions or landscaping to increase distances can  influence access to the track or other place of risk.  Changes in layout can make errors or confusion less likely. 

Near access points to rail locations (stations, crossings, lineside access points, depots).

By whom? - Infrastructure owner.

Applicability / suitability for trespass types

Where there is potential for problems with trespass at specific locations and structural and landscaping works can be implemented in such a way as to change the visibility of the rail property and ease of access to the location. 

Trespasser type = Children, adults.

Trespass events = Convenience, theft, anti-social behaviour, graffiti, hangout, recreation.

Observed behaviours = Crossing track, damage to facilities / equipment, trespass near equipment, evidence of graffiti, signs of drug use, playing with equipment.

Potential Motivations = Shorten distance or time to a location, personal financial gain with strong motivation for access, self-expression, lack of self-control, peer pressure, antisocial feelings, artistic expressions, recognition, rebellion, territorial, seeking seclusion, risk / thrill seeking, exploration, leisure pursuits near tracks or rail location.


High effectiveness

Likely to be highly effective, though is a fairly new intervention and there are limited studies of effectiveness.  One study found that landscaping an area (1.5 metres high and 200 metres long) around an illegal path decreased trespassing by over 90%.

May take time for completion of any structural works and sufficient growth of vegetation.

Can be durable effect once this type of intervention has been implemented successfully.

Factors influencing effectiveness

Ability to remove sightlines to the railway / railway property.  May need additional controls for events where trespassers have local knowledge of the location (surveillance, sensors, fencing / locked gates, signs).

Natural solution to restrict access, requiring balance between aesthetics of the new landscape and function of inhibiting access. 

Where movements of people in the vicinity are directed away from areas or risk, along safer routes.

How to apply or implement, including dependencies

Usually localised to a particular area.

Use trees, plants and groundwork as a more aesthetic and natural alternative to fencing, in areas where people trespass.

Ensure planting and landscaping doesn’t create areas of seclusion / places to hide for trespassers.

Can work well on its own in areas where individuals may trespass, but usually complemented by other interventions (e.g. fencing, education, sanctions, signs).



Depends on the scale of the work.  Could include small scale work in a limited area, or larger scale re-profiling of the lineside landscape.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Safety Intelligence Analyst for further information.
Siona Vass
Tel: 020 3142 5485
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.