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Barnstaple Station gets its own garden force

With new plants and some coordinated clean-up work, Barnstaple station has enjoyed something of a spruce-up as volunteers from Network Rail recently worked with the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership (DCRP) and the Tarka Rail Association to organise a clean-up of Barnstaple station in north Devon, revitalising it with an attractive community garden and improved environment.

Staff from the three rail organisations were joined by volunteers from Barclays Bank and the Veterans Charity – overall, more than 20 people teamed up to give the station a welcome makeover.

The group got green-fingered in the community garden, cleaning out any weeds from the planters and removing overgrown vegetation from the disused platform. Fences were replaced to provide safe access for the volunteers, who also installed a bespoke community rail access board. The board displays useful information for passengers, including emergency contact details and safety advice.

Vicky Clift, customer support manager for Network Rail, said: “It was great to see representatives from the different organisations work together to improve the appearance of the platform at Barnstaple station.

“Supporting community projects means that we can work alongside local residents to improve public spaces and create a welcoming environment for passengers. Enhancing the passenger experience is a key part of making sure that people returning to the railway can travel in confidence.”

Rebecca Catterall from the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, who coordinated the volunteers, said: “It was a great day, everyone pulled together and worked incredibly hard. I am sure users of Barnstaple station will notice a difference.”

Danny Greeno, chief executive officer of the Veterans Charity, said: “We were very proud to be asked to be part of such a great community action and to spend a few hours working alongside other volunteers and Network Rail staff to help tidy the space at Barnstaple station. Our office is located very close by and as Barnstaple station will be among the many involved in our upcoming ‘Routes Of Remembrance’ events this November, it was a pleasure to be part of the volunteer force.”