Volunteer profile: Infrastructure Projects team (Scotland & North East)

Enhancing the environment in an RSPB nature reserve.

We’re part of Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects team (Scotland & North East)…

Our team delivers a range of enhancement, renewals and major maintenance of the railway infrastructure, sometimes involving vegetation management.

What did we do?

On World Environment Day 2017, individuals and teams from within IP SNE – which included some of us working in signalling, telecoms, procurement, safety and sustainable development – took advantage of the Network Rail volunteer leave policy to enhance local biodiversity at the Lochwinnoch RSPB Nature Reserve, under the direction of RSPB rangers.

What did we give and get?

We helped maintain paths and removed invasive non-native plants so that families, school groups and the local and wider community can safely access the reserve and connect with nature. Removing the weeds also improved the habitat for local indigenous plants and other species.

Staff morale has increased with the visible positive impact of volunteering, and offering our services and expertise helped improve our reputation with the local RSPB.

What have we learnt?

We benefited from an ecology briefing induction, raising our awareness of and ability to identify key and protected species.

The day also emphasised what we already knew: that our stakeholders, including national and local charities such as the RSPB, appreciate it when we support them with our time, skill and effort.