Network Rail, Wales Route Environment (Wales) Act 2016: Section 6 duty summary report (December 2019) - full report attached

Network Rail is committed to enhancing and maintaining the biodiversity value of its land where possible and reasonably practicable. One of our key principles in Network Rail’s ‘Environment and social performance policy’ is that

“We will manage our land sustainably including consideration of our impacts on Biodiversity”.

We regularly consult with external stakeholders, including NRW and the Local Authorities, to agree mitigation for works in areas where there are protected species and habitats present, and in relation to permissions and adjacent protected sites.

It is defined in the State of Nature 20191 report that green infrastructure “can provide habitat for a wide range of species”. In the current programme of works we are aiming to deliver and develop resilient ecological networks (e.g. wildlife corridors) establishing a pragmatic direction in relation to balancing a safe operational railway, while maintaining and enhancing biodiversity wherever possible.

The Section 6 duty is a consideration for activities undertaken within the route, and we are aiming to provide green infrastructure and design enhancements where the opportunities exist, for example: green roofs, wildlife friendly gardens, additional tree planting and wildflower meadows at train stations.

There is a plan to upskill and enhance the knowledge of staff and increase the specialist internal ecological expertise on the Route. This report aims to fulfil the requirement to report on our Section 6 duty. It highlights some key examples of how Network Rail in Wales are contributing positively towards maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and embedding consideration of biodiversity into our ways of working.