WRABNESS rail station is set to become a haven for local wildlife thanks to a community rail project.

The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership have worked with local residents, station adopter volunteers, the Essex Path to Prosperity Project, Community Rail Network, the Bee Friendly Trust and Greater Anglia to create a new wildlife area next to the station.

About a quarter of an acre of overgrown scrub land where the station master’s house once stood has been transformed into a wildlife and visitor-friendly garden.

It was officially opened by Julia Prigg, the station adopter, on Saturday, with residents and guests  in attendance.

The focus of the garden is to support and encourage wildlife and includes bug hotels, bird boxes - including two special robin boxes, a pond for frogs and a hibernaculum built for newts, lizards and toads.

Two large planters full of bee-friendly forage greet visitors at the front of the garden with a path leading to seats constructed from railway sleepers and on the stumps of ancient trees.

A third planter displays a collage of ceramic tiles created by residents of Acorn Village.

There is a herb bed by the entrance to the garden from which visitors, rail travellers and the community are encouraged to help themselves.

In addition, the Bee Friendly Trust involved pupils at Wix & Wrabness Primary School in the project, delivering pollination workshops.

Luke Dixon, of The Bee Friendly Trust, said, “It has been exciting to work on this project with so many collaborators and create something very special from a neglected piece of wasteland.”

The creation of the garden was supported with funding from the Essex Path to Prosperity project which promotes sustainable travel to the Essex coast, Community Rail Network and Bee Friendly Trust, with the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership providing in kind support.

Terri Ryland, from the Essex and South Suffolk CRP, said, “This has been a fantastic collaborative project and we are so excited for rail passengers and the community to come and see the wildlife garden and enjoy watching it develop over the coming months."