Exeter St Thomas Eco Garden

Working in partnership to brighten the station for passengers and wildlife alike

Riviera Line
Wide range of partners including: Friends of Exeter St Thomas Station St Thomas Community Association Devon County Council Great Western Railway

As part of our EU Citizens’ Rail project, we worked with the Friends of Exeter St Thomas Station and a range of partner organisations to develop an Eco Garden to enhance the station.

The Friends joined Exeter University’s Student Environmental Volunteering team to make two ‘bug hotels’ at a workshop led by Devon Wildlife Trust. A further element of the project was the installation of sedum matting (shown below) on a previously untidy and unattractive section of the platform.

The installation of the sedum matting, more frequently used on living green roofs, is believed to be a first for a railway station. It has the advantage of being drought tolerant and easy maintenance, helping to create a wildlife-friendly habitat in the heart of the city.

The Eco Garden was part of a wider programme of Citizens’ Rail station improvements along the Riviera Line. There was a particular focus on Exeter St Thomas station and Torre station, which received new waiting shelters, ticket machines, CCTV and benches.

Following the improvements, 60% of passengers rated Riviera Line stations as good or fairly good, and usage of St Thomas and Torre stations rose by 11% and 25% respectively.