Together with ProRail, we carefully maintain or replace plants and trees on the 65 hectares of green areas at and around the stations. We fight exotic species by introducing natural predators where possible, for example by providing nest boxes for great tits to control oak processionary caterpillar populations. In 2021 we started an inventory of the ‘other grounds’ of NS, studying their ecological value and how it can be protected and enriched. We will use the resulting recommendations to take the first concrete steps in that direction in 2023.
Climate change is confronting us with more extreme weather conditions, such as flooding and extreme heat. Additional green spaces may provide a solution to some of those problems. For example, we can plant trees to avoid heat stress and benefit from natural drainage features (‘wadis’) and green roofs to catch and absorb rainwater. For example, in 2020 we planted veteran trees at a number of stations.
The use of more plant species suitable for the local environment will increase biodiversity. In 2021, we did this at a number of stations, planting new prairie species and perennials and sowing mixed flower seeds.