Suffolk school boy’s essay on the importance of bees wins first prize in Westerfield station competition

Adopters at Westerfield Station organized the writing competition, with the first prize being a trip to Kew Gardens on a Greater Anglia train.

The winner of the competition was 7-year-old Elliott Clarke, who wrote ‘A Day in the Life of a Westerfield Station Bee’, which saw Elliott’s imagination run wild as the bee watched the trains pass and visit the animal garden of the station.

The station’s team of volunteer adopters launched the competition and also created a large animal garden along the station platform. Adopters also carry out local actions to raise awareness of the importance of nature conservation and protection.

Sandy Burn is a volunteer station adopter at Westerfield station and led the project which saw a team plant hundreds of perennials, grasses and wildflowers on the 72 square meter site. A hexagonal planter was also built and installed by the team and is located on the platform and saw early Westerfield cubs plant herbs there for local people to use. The Wildlife Garden also saw the installation of a permanent, eco-friendly water supply earlier this year.

Adopter Sandy Burn at Westerfield station // Credit: Greater Anglia

Information panels have also been installed in the garden as part of a partnership with the Suffolk Butterfly Conservation Trust and Friends of the Earth and will help people learn about the types of bees and butterflies they spot.

The overall aims of the project are to create a refuge for wildlife while improving the well-being of local people with funds provided by East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, Community Rail Network and Westerfield Parish Council with in-kind support from Greater Anglia and Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.

Voluntary adopters have also recently completed a new additional wildlife area themed “Reuse, Recycle, Salvage and Reduce Waste” and includes dead hedgerows, log pyramids, raised Hugelkultur beds next to an insect habitat to provide shelter for wildlife. Funding for this was provided by East Suffolk Council through their Green Communities project and Westerfield Parish Council.

Sandy said: “We came up with the idea of ​​a writing contest to raise awareness of the importance of bees in the local environment and to encourage conversation locally to help these fascinating creatures.

“We think Elliot and our two finalists – Jack and Austin – rose to the occasion with individual, entertaining and educational entries that really put a smile on our faces.

“Thank you to Greater Anglia, the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail partnership and Westerfield Parish Council for donating the prizes which we hope the children will enjoy.”

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said: ‘We are very grateful to Sandy and her fellow volunteers, Laura and Yvonne, for the incredible work they do at Westerfield.

“Wildlife-friendly projects at stations like this are helping East Anglia Railway lead the green revolution by being a much greener way to travel – and our new fleet of trains will contribute even more with their more environmentally friendly features that reduce CO2 and particulate emissions in the region even further.

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