A summer of sustainability activities with Southeast Communities Rail Partnership

Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) has been busy working on projects to brighten up stations, promote sustainable travel and connect communities by rail. Read on to find out what exciting things the partnership has been up to.

Rail to Ramble

Andy Pope, Senior Community Rail Line Officer at SCRP, and Matt Fraser of Southeastern Railway hosted a ‘Rail to Ramble’ event with the Battle Ramblers Association on the morning of Wednesday 26 July.

The event was born out of a new tourist map situated at Crowhurst Station which beautifully promotes the walking, nature trails and sites of historic interest around the village.

The ‘Rail to Ramble’ started at the historic Battle Abbey and included a visit to Battle Station, where works are about to start on bringing the listed station house back into community use. The group of 32 walkers then jumped on the train for a short trip to Crowhurst where, with the help of the new tourist map, they walked for four and a half miles through the historic open countryside back to Battle Abbey.

This was the first linear walk the group had done, rather than the usual circular ones, and SCRP are keen to facilitate many more walking routes from stations for the local community.

Staff planters at Hastings Station

A number of new themed planters have been created at several stations on the 1066 Line.

Stephen Crowley, the member of staff based at Hastings Station, has been busy producing planters from waste materials he has found around the stations. Using discarded pallets, pieces of wood and plastic items found whilst conducting his job as a line cleaner, Stephen has so far produced 10 new planters to be spread across three stations along the line. Word is already out, and the demand for Stephen’s creations is spreading further up the line.

With the aid of the volunteer gardeners at Hastings Station, the appropriate plants have been sourced from another local charity. The Friary Gardeners, an organisation providing training and work opportunities to adults with additional needs, have also been getting involved with a number of projects at the station. It is hoped that this will be an ongoing project with benefits being felt further afield.

Acknowledgements go to Stephen, Southeastern Railway, and the local management team for their support, as well as Community Rail Network for the funding to make these positive changes possible.

Abandoned bikes find a new purpose

After several abandoned bikes were discovered at Tunbridge Wells Station, the SCRP team were able to pick them up and donate them to the Hastings Bike Project, a local community interest company who collect and repair bicycles for repair, sale and reuse.

The bikes had accumulated over many months, in some case years. Now, thanks to SCRP’s connections with other local transport organisations, the bikes will be repurposed, providing valuable benefits for the community.

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from Southeast Communities Rail Partnership via their website.