Falmer station is buzzing with bright new mural and pollinator-friendly planting

Southern’s Falmer station has been transformed into a bee-friendly haven thanks to new flower beds and an eye-catching mural.

On Friday (13 September), Brighton and Hove Mayor Alexandra Phillips joined Southern staff, Catherine Simmons from the Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) and Emma Pritchard from The Bee Friendly Trust to officially unveil the bold new mural spanning both sides of the Brighton Amex football stadium footbridge.

Emma commissioned local street artist Rhys (@HarpoArt on  xxx) to create the mural, which was finished this summer. This month, volunteers from The Bee Friendly Trust also completed their bee friendly planting at the station.

Catherine, who has worked with Emma on the project, said: “SCRP are very proud of the end result. It looks fantastic and we hope it will appeal to wildlife and football fans alike. The mural is a great addition to an area, which was frequently tagged and fly-posted. It took two weeks to complete with Rhys working through some of the hottest days this summer. Luckily station staff looked after him by bringing cold drinks.”

Emma added: “The Bee Friendly Trust is absolutely thrilled with the result. The station has been transformed into a bee-friendly haven – and both a beautiful and educational space for train users. The 17 metre-long mural can’t help but lift the spirits, whilst at the same time telling the story of pollination; something brought to life in the buzzing flower border that now runs alongside the platform.”

The platform plants were kindly donated by local businesses and were chosen because they are good sources of year-round forage for bees and other pollinators. They include sedum, lavender, dianthus, rudbeckia, hebe, cyclamen, pansies, viburnum tinus, salvias, penstemon, anemone and lobelia. Gardeners also created a miniature raised bed at the station using pebbles.

Emma added: “Railway stations provide obvious pitstops for bees and other pollinators. By planting them with wildflowers and creating bee-friendly areas, we are building a nationwide pollinator corridor that will not only allow the safe travel of these vital creatures around the country, but also give them much-needed food and shelter. Gardening events such as those which took place on the Govia Thameslink Railway routes this year are a wonderful way of showcasing how valuable these spaces can be, whilst educating and engaging current and future generations around the importance of bees.”

Across the GTR network, a series of gardening events have been taking place this year to create new floral displays and sow wildflower seeds along embankments and where there are green spaces.

For more information about The Bee Friendly Trust, visit www.beefriendly.org