A five-year plan for biodiversity: Translink

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Translink put in place a five-year Biodiversity Action Plan  in 2009 in recognition of the “significant role” the company plays in providing for biodiversity and sustainable development at the local level.







Material business benefits: Translink boosted its reputation by winning the ‘Biodiversity Project of the Year’ award at the annual Sustainable Ireland Awards held in partnership with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It improved community engagement through its ‘BioBuzz’ campaign and its biodiversity app, and supported employee engagement through targeted volunteering projects such as a beach clean in partnership with TIDY NI.

A direct link to the service: Translink is responsible for over 200 miles of railway track and a variety of buildings that contribute to local landscape and provide habitats for wildlife. The organisation “acknowledge[s] the wider environmental and conservation value of much of its operations, infrastructure and property portfolio, incorporating an objective to ‘protect and enhance the biodiversity value of [its] land, properties and associated infrastructure'”. The rail network functions as a green corridor across a range of habitats – including eight priority habitats – that are important for biodiversity. For Translink, managing it effectively includes accommodating biodiversity.

Translink’s collaborative approach: In partnership with Ulster Wildlife Trust, Translink developed a Biodiversity Action Plan with four key objectives:

  1. To integrate biodiversity into its strategies, plans and policies
  2. To identify the biodiversity value and potential of our property and establish priorities
  3. To raise awareness and understanding of the importance of biodiversity both within and outside the organisation
  4. By working in partnership, promote practical conservation projects, demonstrating commitment to protecting Northern Ireland’s biodiversity

The Plan acknowledges opportunities for the company to improve biodiversity, which include land management, impact mitigation, new habitat creation, raising awareness and understanding. It also identifies priority habitats and species, and outlines a number of actions to be implemented over the life-span of the Action Plan. Initiatives to date have included:

  • Land management plans established for two Translink-owned sites
  • Distributed over 100,000 pollinator seeds to passengers throughout Northern Ireland
  • Donated three planter boxes to two different schools
  • Delivered educational talks about biodiversity to over 400 local pupils
  • 22 species and eight habitats discovered in and around Translink landholding sites
  • Employee volunteering projects
  • Biodiversity Officer employed

Launch of Bio Buzz initiative to support plant and animal species and habitats June 2013