A consultation held with residents of the West Sussex town of East Grinstead has brought benefits to the town’s station gardens. Benefiting from a successful GTR Passenger Benefit Fund applications, Southeastern Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) has worked in partnership with a local landscape gardener to give the station gardens an overhaul. The gardens are the first sight of East Grinstead that visitors by rail see as they leave the station, therefore being important to the community that they are well maintained.
Getting to work on the project was ex-station partner and local resident Andrew Morris, a professional landscape gardenerw hose work at the station has also been recognised by Community Rail Network.
The gardens have suffered from many issues. They cover a large area, are in an area of road traffic pollution, have an inability to water, are susceptible high winds, and have a spectacular ability to grow weeds at an astonishing rate. Andrew’s planting plan was devised of very low maintenance plants that will crowd out the weeds and hopefully lead to less maintenance by the current station partners County Care, who sadly are unable to travel at the present time.
Engaging with Andrew was a really nice way of thanking him for all the hours he had previously spent working on the gardens, giving up his own time as a volunteer, and showed how much we valued him. He in turn employed two local people to assist on the project who were recently without work – thus keeping their renumeration within the local economy.
The gardens are now looking fantastic and an added bonus is that Andrew was so enthused that he has agreed to return to the station in a supervisory role to manage the volunteers when they return.