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The hard work of station volunteers at Kidsgrove and Uttoxeter stations has been recognised by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society).
This year, for the first time, the station volunteer teams entered the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ assessment for community gardens. Both achieved a high Level 3 award, winning praise from the assessors for “attractive displays of planters” at Kidsgrove and the complete “overhauling of the station garden” at Uttoxeter.
The RHS assessors measured the levels of community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement when visiting the stations.
The 9-strong volunteer team at Kidsgrove station have introduced a wildflower area and installed bird and insect boxes and hedgehog houses to help sustain wildlife. The communal garden, which includes a fragrant rose garden and a stunning embankment garden, is much appreciated by passengers; in a survey carried out by the community rail partnership this year, 100% responded that Kidsgrove station is “now a nicer place to travel” thanks to the dedication of the station volunteers. The local TESCO, garden centres and the Rotary are all supporters of the project and children from St Thomas’ primary are also involved in tending the flower displays.
Uttoxeter station gardens are part of the entry portfolio for Uttoxeter In Bloom, helping the town win a Gold award. As at Kidsgrove, the enthusiastic station gardeners have turned a previously overgrown site into a neat and tidy garden, which is welcoming for passengers. There are a good mix of plants, from colourful summer and autumn bedding to planters filled with herbs, wild strawberries and other edibles for passengers to enjoy. The assessors also praised the station mural, a project involving the volunteers, for providing added value to the transformation of the station.
Partnership Project Officer, Faye Lambert, said: “This is a great achievement for the very dedicated volunteers at Kidsgrove and Uttoxeter stations, whose hard work is making a real difference for passengers.”
Andy Moore, Head of Stations for East Midlands Trains, said: “Our congratulations go to the team of fantastic volunteers at Kidsgrove and Uttoxeter who have worked so hard to transform these stations for all users. This is a real credit to them.”
Further information about It’s Your Neighbourhood can be found on www.rhs.org.uk