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Essex to welcome its first-ever Climate Change Train

Wickford Station

Essex is preparing to welcome its first-ever Climate Change Train, encouraging families to think about the importance of travelling sustainably by rail.

The special service will raise awareness of the climate emergency, and every passenger who travels will have a tree planted on their behalf.

The train will depart Wickford Station at 10.06 on Sunday, 22 May, arriving at North Fambridge for an hour-long guided walk through the Blue House Farm Nature Reserve and around the Sea Wall.

The walk will finish at North Fambridge Village Hall where refreshments will be provided and a display by the Essex Climate Action Commission will provide insight into how people in the county can work together to tackle climate change. Attendees will return on the 13:21 train back to Wickford.

On the train, families will receive free fun-filled climate change activity packs which will include an I-spy game for the walk.

The family event is being organised by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (CRP) with support from Greater Anglia, Essex Path to Prosperity, Essex County Council, and The Essex Forest Initiative.

Jayne Sumner, rail engagement officer for the CRP, said: “We’re really excited to run our first climate change awareness train to help the whole family understand issues around climate change and contribute to tree planting in the county. We hope it will give families lots of ideas about small changes they can make to help the planet and inspire them to consider travelling more sustainably in the future.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s customer and community engagement manager, said: “Rail has a huge part to play in a greener future as it is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport. Our brand-new trains contribute to this even further as they are greener than our old ones, and we are also increasing biodiversity at stations across our network with the help of our station adopter volunteers who are dedicating large areas of station gardens to wildlife.”

Tom Moat, senior forestry and woodland officer at Essex County Council, added: “The Essex Forest Initiative team are really looking forward to this day of climate awareness engagement. Tree planting will play an important part in our actions against climate change and whilst plenty more needs to be done to reduce emissions in the first place, the opportunity to engage with Essex residents about the benefits of tree planting is vital in our mission to make Essex cleaner and greener.”

Tickets are £5 per adult and £3 per child, which includes return rail fair from Wickford, and can be booked online from the railplus website.

For more information about Essex and South Suffolk CRP, visit their website here.