Caring for the environment during restoration
As a heritage railway, we feel that when carrying out works on our restoration project, we have a responsibility to work sustainably and protect the local environment wherever possible. This is especially relevant as the proposed extension to the railway is across unspoilt land in the middle of West London, kindly leased to us by Thames Water.
Photograph courtesy of Thames Water
Point of interest. The new railway extension will also pass by a Thames Water managed nature reserve that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. As there is no access to the nature reserve via the railway, you can join the Thames Water Friends Scheme.
Hampton Kempton Waterworks Railway has completed an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) as part of their application for planning permission to re-instate the railway which is summarised below:
The project will be completed using environment design policies in accordance with the local council and other governing bodies. The impact of the project is considered small and very local, and is in effect, a re-use of the existing and previously developed railway route. There will be very few new buildings erected, using low impact materials, with low maintenance, and colours chosen to blend in with the natural surroundings. All our materials chosen for the project, will be based on the highest sustainability credentials.
We will be surveying the area at each stage of our restoration build, to ensure that we are not damaging any important habitats, flora, and fauna.
Sensitive approach to all environmental issues
The EIS also considers noise and air quality, landscaping of the track route, as well as car parking, traffic, and transport issues.
As the project is designed to be an integrated project, drawing on local expertise and knowledge of the historical significance of the site, we will continue approach to providing the local community with educational and visitor facilities.
Throughout the restoration of this unique heritage industrial railway, we will continue to work closely with local ecology and conservation officers to ensure minimum impact on the environment.
Volunteers go green!
Our volunteers are always considerate of the environment when working at the railway. We use solar energy for power wherever possible and were granted an award from Heathrow Community Trust to install solar panels in our Ticket Office to power lighting and equipment.
As the railway strives to be as green and ecofriendly as possible, our volunteers built this beautiful structure out of pruned branches, green cuttings and overgrowth, gathered from around the railway track. The hedge provides a natural habitat for small mammals, birds and insects and cost HKWR virtually nothing to build. This is the first of our living hedge initiative and our hope is it will contribute to the area’s conservation, especially with the railway being so near to the Thames Water Kempton Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Read our article Wildlife and our environment