The vegetation that grows alongside London’s hundreds of miles of surface railway lines is home to animals, birds and insects. Are these ‘wildlife corridors’ being appropriately managed to protect these important habitats?
Darren Johnson AM is leading a review on behalf of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee to examine the management of railway embankments.
There are more than 450 miles of surface railways in London, a significant proportion of which is made up of habitats of wildlife interest including several Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. Species commonly linked to lineside habitats include kestrels, orange-tip butterflies, great spotted woodpeckers and bats.
The London Wildlife Trust has warned that lineside management can be controversial because of the scale of vegetation cut back, the timing of work and the level of public consultation.
The review on behalf of the Committee will look at current guidance on managing railway embankments, including how organisations act on it, and the ways in which local residents’ views are taken into account.
Darren Johnson, AM, said: “Vegetation on railway embankments across London can provide vital habitats for a range of birds, insects and plants as well as improving the look of what can be drab urban stretches.
“We want to know how railway embankments are managed, and what transport organisations take into account when they decide to remove vegetation from these important wildlife corridors.”
The review will seek written views and information and hold meetings with Transport for London and Network Rail, culminating in a report later this year.
The Committee is interested in hearing from residents about their experiences – are you being consulted about how these railway embankments are being cut back? Are you concerned about the animals, birds and insects that live in them? How do you think they should be managed?
Notes for Editors:
- Darren Johnson is also Deputy Chair of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee
- Sites of Nature Conservation Importance in London include the stretch between New Cross Gate and Forest Hill in south London, Brackenbury Cutting in Hillingdon, Stanmore embankment in Harrow and East Sutton railway land in Sutton.
- See London Wildlife Trust paper
- Read more about the investigation and how to contribute your experiences
- Darren Johnson, AM, is available for interview. See contact details below.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Julie Wheldon/Lisa Moore on 020 7983 4228/4283. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.