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'Bee hotel' is built outside Diss Railway station




An exclusive hotel built from locally-sourced natural materials has been built at Diss train station – to attract bees and other bugs.

Howard Witton, a volunteer at community radio station Park Radio, which provides a team of Greater Anglia station adopters to tend the gardens at the rail station, has built a bee hotel.

The 65-year-old, who used to work in IT, made the structure from a wooden frame covered with a wire mesh, filled with natural materials, such as pine cones, bamboo pieces, wood, rocks, dry grass, broken terracotta pots and moss from local woods and gardens.

Howard Witton, with the bee hotel he has built for Diss Railway Station. Picture by Mecha Morton
Howard Witton, with the bee hotel he has built for Diss Railway Station. Picture by Mecha Morton

It is intended to attract insects to help pollinate trees and plants in the local area which, in turn, will help stimulate the local foliage and wildlife.

The bug hotel is in the garden on platform 2 beside the ramp from the car park – in full view of both platforms.

Mr Witton, who lives in Croft Lane in Diss, said: “I’m very interested in wildlife and making sure we have got the right kind of gardening to encourage insects.

The bee hotel is filled with pine cones, bamboo pieces, and other natural materials. Picture: Greater Anglia.
The bee hotel is filled with pine cones, bamboo pieces, and other natural materials. Picture: Greater Anglia.

“I already had one in my garden, and one of the other volunteers saw it and said that would be perfect for the station.

“We had a spare bit of timber and not a lot else going on during lockdown, so I said I would knock one up. Let’s just hope it gets some residents now.”

Park Radio’s director and station manager Chris Moyse added: “We’ve seen some real success with the project so far.

“Several bugs have been using the hotel, and passengers are really enjoying the sight of plants on their journeys.

“We hope it will encourage others to put bug hotels in their gardens.”

Alan Neville, customer and community engagement manager at Greater Anglia, added: “We’re tremendously grateful to our fabulous team of rail adopters and the Park Radio volunteers for the work they do to improve the station for our customers and for the local wildlife, too.”

Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption scheme enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its use and welfare for the benefit of their community.

Station adopters work with Greater Anglia to bring about improvements or care for gardens and floral displays to benefit local wildlife and make stations more welcoming.



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