Natural Resources Wales has solidified a commitment to working more closely with Network Rail following the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding. 

The agreement, which is typically renewed every five years, reinforces an exciting partnership towards:

  • driving environmental sustainability for the benefit of communities,
  • creating a more resilient railway by being better prepared to combat nature and climate emergencies,
  • and promoting responsible practices across the route’s rail infrastructure.

Both organisations have already helped each other on a number of coastal and river schemes to reduce flood risk, protect habitats, manage land, and better plan projects.

An example where this partnership has been extremely effective, and crucially time saving, was the extensive remedial work following the derailment of a freight train at Llangennech, in Carmarthenshire, in August 2020. 

More than 30,000 tonnes of fuel-soaked soil was excavated from beneath 150 metres of railway track - preventing lasting environmental impact and protecting the local landscape.  

The collaborative way of working, on such a high impact incident, was invaluable and ensured that public funds were used in the most effectual way possible. 

Clare Pillman, Natural Resources Wales Chief Executive said:

“When organisations work together we can do more. So this agreement means the environment and rail users all benefit.

“The State of Natural Resources Report 2020 emphasised that different organisations need to collaborate to improve the resilience of our environment, particularly as we reimagine the transport system, and this partnership puts this principle into practice.”

Nick Millington, Wales and Border route director at Network Rail said:

By combining the expertise, knowledge, and resources of our two organisations in this way, we’re able to work in a more time efficient, cost-effective, safe and sustainable way - creating a positive and lasting impact on the environment, whilst improving rail links for passengers. 

“The importance of this collaboration has been demonstrated time and time again over the years, and we’re very pleased to be renewing our joint commitment to achieving a more sustainable and ecologically responsible approach to the way we work.”