Adapted from source by Network Rail.

Volunteers from Network Rail and Ground Control have been supporting the Scottish Borders community group Abundant Borders and lineside neighbours, while vegetation management works continue along the East Coast Mainline between Lamberton and Reston.

Ground Control is contracted by Network Rail to deliver the vegetation management along this part of the railway. In January 2024, the partners teamed up as volunteers to say thank you to the lineside neighbours and adjacent communities for accommodating the contractors during these vital works.

Over two days, volunteers carried out strimming and planted over 550 trees, establishing a wildlife-friendly hedge and woodland area at the group’s Eyemouth garden.


On day two, volunteers carried out strimming and wood-stained the pavilion at the Duns garden.

Painting Pavilion at Duns Community Garden, Scotland

Network Rail and Ground Control also contacted local lineside neighbours to offer disposal of natural Christmas trees from which the chippings are used in the local area. Bags of logs, generated from our works, were also distributed to the local community, to season at home for use in personal wood burners.

Ground Control volunteers chipping Christmas trees for ECM8 line side neighbours

The vegetation project is being carried out along a six-mile stretch of the East Coast Main Line to manage trees and vegetation from land adjacent to the railway and within the railway boundary. 

This work is needed to keep passengers safe and trains punctual while reducing the risk for lineside neighbours. If not managed, overgrown trees and vegetation close to the railway can become dangerous and pose safety risks to trains, our passengers, railway staff and contractors, lineside neighbours and adjacent land users and owners.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2024.

Kirsty Armstrong, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail said:

It was really nice to be able to help Abundant Borders at their community gardens, giving us an opportunity to give something back to the local community where we have been working for the last few months.
We were also able to provide something a bit different in our offer to dispose of natural Christmas trees and issue bags of logs for use at home which are from some of the vegetation we have cut during the project.

Pete Saunders from Abundant Borders commented:

I was blown away by the volunteers who helped out at the Eyemouth and Duns Community Gardens.
They were a friendly group of people who were very eager to help and offer assistance with a range of tasks out with what we had arranged.
They were very hard-working and super-efficient, getting the jobs done in record time and to a very high standard.
Their input has transformed the gardens and I'm delighted that they could get involved. I can't thank them enough for giving their time to make such a difference.”It was really useful to have Network Rail and Ground Control volunteers here for a couple of days to help us at two of our community gardens.
They made a big contribution towards two projects which allows our volunteers to get on with other activities that need to be done.

Sarah Ellis, Operations Director for Ground Control said:

The team at Ground Control and Network Rail turned passion into action on the volunteer community project. The commitment embodies the essence of giving back, fostering a sense of unity and creating a positive impact that ripples through the community in the area where we are working. Together, we did something wonderful that also strengthened bonds making the community a better place for all.
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