Green enterprise

Protecting and enriching nature

At and around stations across the Netherlands, we maintain and improve 65 hectares of green space together with ProRail:

  • We planted new prairie species, perennials and mixed flower seeds and installed bird boxes and insect hotels at several of our stations. Last year, at the Driebergen-Zeist, Castricum and Rotterdam Alexander stations, we ran a pilot with the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds that included insect hotels, bird boxes and a house sparrow shelter. The insect hotels attract many solitary bees in particular, and over 70% of the bird boxes were occupied last year.

  • Dutch Butterfly Conservation commissioned NS to survey 45 NS sites last year to identify the potential for biodiversity improvement. This exercise produced several practical measures, which will be implemented from 2024.

  • In 2023, we developed the EcoCheck, a measurement tool we can use ourselves to measure biodiversity levels at NS sites. A baseline measurement of the EcoCheck at our stations will start in spring 2024. Measuring and mapping biodiversity levels at NS sites will help us identify measures to improve those levels.

Harnessing nature

Due to climate change, we are facing more extreme weather conditions, such as flooding and extreme heat. As part of the solution, we are creating additional green spaces by planting trees to prevent heat stress and using natural water drainage through ‘wadis’ and green roofs. In 2023, for example, we planted veteran trees on land owned by NS in Dalen. An ‘inspiration document’ for climate-adaptive station design was produced, commissioned by ProRail, NS Stations and Bureau Spoorbouwmeester. In it, green space is featured as a solution for mitigating the effects of climate change in our building designs.

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