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Local Community Rail Partnership buzzing about new bumblebee booklet

A Derbyshire community partnership has launched a new booklet to help local families explore nature in their local area.

High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership have produced a Buzzing Stations booklet, showing ten family-friendly walking routes from railway stations in the Peak District. The booklet is designed to promote sustainable travel and increase connection with nature.

The idea for the booklet began in 2021 when local volunteers Neil Williams of Friends of Glossop Station and Dave Carlisle from Friends of Buxton station both heard about the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Pollinating the Peak project. They were keen to see how railway stations could play a part in boosting biodiversity. Friends of Stations groups across the High Peak and Hope Valley were inspired to plant bee-friendly plants at stations, learn how to identify different bumblebees and organise bumblebee walks for their local communities.

Now families can join in, as the Partnership’s very own Buzzing Stations booklet has been launched. The booklet shows ten family-friendly walking routes from railway stations, where it’s likely bees and other pollinators can be spotted. A beautifully designed bumblebee identification chart is included to help families tell their Bilberry Bumblebee from their Common Carder Bee. The areas covered are Hope Valley and High Peak, including Buxton, New Mills and Glossop. The booklet was collated by Station Friends groups and designed by illustrator and graphic designer Amy Glover, and the production was funded by CrossCountry’s Community Engagement Fund.

The launch event was held at Hadfield station, where Chair of Friends of Hadfield Station, Joy Hallsworth, showed everyone the station's pollinator-friendly planters and garden. Community Rail Partnership Officers Helen and Catherine thanked the volunteers for their input into the booklet and ongoing support to the Partnership. The group then chose from the two Hadfield walks from the booklet and followed their chosen route, looking for bumblebees along the way. Then everyone returned to Hadfield Hall for tea and cake.

“It’s great to see the booklet in print, and I’m delighted CrossCountry was able to fund it” says David Jones, Stakeholder Manager at CrossCountry. “This project is a great example of how community rail is about so much more than trains – it’s about helping people explore their local area sustainably, and promoting biodiversity.”

"We’re delighted to have launched the new Buzzing Stations booklet. We're grateful for the input of the Station Friends volunteers, and to CrossCountry for their generous funding" adds Helen Wright, Community Rail Partnership Officer.

The Buzzing Stations booklet is free, and available to collect at some railway stations and tourist information centres in High Peak and Hope Valley, including Peak District National Park visitor centres. The booklet can also be downloaded from the Partnership’s website, www.peakdistrictbytrain.org

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