We have a wealth of wildlife on the station site as railway embankments are a rich environment for butterflies, mammals and birdlife.
Our picnic area is currently a haven for birdlife thanks to the various feeders placed around the site and we are struggling to keep pace with their demands for peanuts, fat balls and seeds. We are in the process of photographing them and hope to have a gallery of our guests to show you.
The station building is a regular nesting site for Starlings, Housemartins and Swallows which can make keeping the platform tidy a bit difficult during the nesting season.
The trees and hedges on the site are favoured by goldfinches, wagtails, wrens, song-thrush and blackbirds to name but a few and we are regularly visted by the Kirkby Stephen parrots that fly over from their home in the town.
We are currently working with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust who are advising on ways to optimise the various habitats to encourage wildlife onto the site. Red squirrels are found close to KSE in the area adjacent to the Northern Viaducts walk along the line towards Hartley Quarry.
Swallows have previously taken up residence in the Station Master's Office and flown in and out of the station catching flies for their young. The Station Master's Office is a busy place (we use it for storage of our equipment at present), but the swallows seemed oblivious to the through-put of volunteers and are very happy in their weather-proof nest. We await their return, but work has now started on the Office so they will have to look for a new nest site this year within the station. There are a couple of wrens which have previously nested in our mainline diesels, but they have now taken to coming into the building.
A swallow on a roof support in the station A young wren on one of our Class 37 diesels