AN EYE-CATCHING new mural has appeared near a football stadium.

The painting features two bees with a background of flowers and honeycomb and now adorns a wall on a railway bridge approaching the Amex stadium.

It was created by a street artist known as HarpoArt as part of a project with Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP), the Bee Friendly Trust, the Association of Community Railway Partnerships and Govia Thameslink Railway.

Mayor of Brighton and Hove Alex Phillips attended the opening of the mural.

Emma Pritchard, of The Bee Friendly Trust, said: "The Bee Friendly Trust is absolutely thrilled with the result.

"The station has been transformed into a bee-friendly haven - and both a beautiful and educational space for train users.

"The 17 metre-long mural can’t help but lift the spirits, whilst at the same time telling the story of pollination; something brought to life in the buzzing flower border that now runs alongside the platform.”

The mural was created to promote efforts to conserve the bee population in the area.

The Bee Friendly Trust will also be working to install bee-friendly flower beds, fruit tree orchards and micro wildlife gardens at railway stations across the country.

Platform plants at Falmer station were 

donated by local businesses and were chosen because they are good sources of year-round forage for bees and other pollinators. They include sedum, lavender, dianthus, rudbeckia, hebe, cyclamen, pansies, viburnum tinus, salvias, penstemon, anemone and lobelia. Gardeners also created a miniature raised bed at the station using pebbles.

Emma said: “Railway stations provide obvious pit stops for bees and other pollinators.

"By planting them with wildflowers and creating bee-friendly areas, we are building a nationwide pollinator corridor that will not only allow the safe travel of these vital creatures around the country, but also give them much-needed food and shelter.

"Gardening events such as those which have taken place on the Govia Thameslink Railway routes this year are a wonderful way of showcasing how valuable these spaces can be, whilst educating and engaging current and future generations around the importance of bees.”

Station manager Andy Gardner said he was thrilled with the end result.

He said: "It’s brightened up a previously austere area and I’m sure it will bring pleasure to everyone who uses the footbridge.

"This project has come to fruition thanks to the wonderful work done by The Bee Friendly Trust working closely with the Sussex Community Rail Partnership.

"As a Station Manager it’s a pleasure to see relationships being built with the communities that surround our railway."