Translink awarded highest biodiversity accolade

Translink has secured ‘Platinum’ level accreditation in Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) and Ulster Wildlife’s Business & Diversity Charter. This is the highest ranking available and only seven organisations in Northern Ireland have achieved it.

The Charter recognises organisations that are committed to enhancing and protecting biodiversity and have taken action to address their impact on all living things from habitats to individual organisms.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community, said: “We are delighted to award Translink with Platinum level in the Business in the Community Business & Biodiversity Charter as recognition for its commitment to protecting and enhancing biodiversity within its operations.”

He added: “We hope that its efforts inspire other organisations across Northern Ireland to implement nature friendly measures within their business strategy.”

Translink’s Biodiversity Manager Suzanne Sinclair (in orange) with Jemma Davies, Engagement Coordinator for the British Trust for Ornithology, at a jointly organised birdwatching event at Glynn, Larne.

Recent examples of Translink’s work in biodiversity include Dagger Wood, south of Lisburn where, following consultation, 20 acres of land was repurposed with the planting of 14,450 saplings in 2022 and 2023.

A long-term management agreement is being developed with local groups for the land to be used for community benefit while supporting nature and climate improvements. Activities will be designed to promote and engage young people in themes based around the woodland and its flora and fauna as well as highlight the importance of biodiversity and its contribution to reducing global warming.

However, Translink is creating habitats of all sizes right across Northern Ireland.

For example, project teams have been working with local communities to build Bug Hotels at Cullybackey and Portadown. Swift nest boxes, made from recycled wood, have been installed on a railway retaining wall at Queen Street, Ballymena and a purpose-built bat barn is in place at Muckamore in county Antrim.

Translink’s Kate Finnegan meets Community workers and pupils and teachers from Buick Memorial PS in Cullybackey who have built ‘bug hotels’ and encourage the bees with planting for pollinators.

The public transport operator for Northern Ireland has also created living bus shelter roofs and planters in park and ride sites and at stations as well as increased the number of bird boxes and water butts at stations and depots.

Translink’s Head of Safety and Corporate Responsibility, John Thompson said: “We are honoured to receive this platinum award which recognises the importance we place on biodiversity in the communities in which we live in and serve.

“We have plans to more than double native woodland cover on our adjacent (non-operational) landholdings from 14% to 30% by 2030 and are planting two new woodlands in March bringing the total number of trees planted to 30,000.”