The Mayor of Sleaford, Councillor Oates, accompanied by Mrs Oates, officially opened the allotment on Platform 1 at Sleaford Station on Thursday 3 June. The name, which was chosen as part of a competition run by the Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP), was revealed as “Poacher’s Patch” The lucky winner, Sleaford resident Vivien Banks, won a basket of gardening goodies. A raffle was also held in aid of local charity Rainbow Stars which raised £65
Working alongside the Poacher Line CRP, the allotment was designed by Lincolnshire blogger Kirsty Ward, of My Little Allotment, and kindly funded by Lincolnshire County Council. With the help of volunteers from East Midlands Railway and Network Rail the allotment was created during the past year.
The allotment is intended to help those who are living with hidden disabilities and local charity Rainbow Stars, who had previously planted up the allotment, have now signed up to formally adopt the allotment and will look after it going forward.
Jane Peck, from Rainbow Stars said: “We are so excited to be adopting this allotment for outdoor mental health purposes and cooking with produce that our users have grown to learn valuable life skills”.
Jo Andrews, community rail officer for the Poacher Line commented: “We are delighted to be able to officially open this wonderful area to the community of Sleaford. Thank you to the Mayor of Sleaford for cutting the ribbon and to everyone who has contributed to the transformation of this disused piece of land into something useful and attractive. The allotment has put the station back into the heart of the community and is the start of many improvements planned for the station over the next twelve months. I am looking forward to watching the allotment flourish over the coming years”.
Kaye Robinson, community ambassador for East Midlands Railway said: “The Allotment at Sleaford Station is a fantastic addition. The way the old unused plot has been brought to life by Kirsty and the Poacher Line is a testament to the hard work that has happened in the build-up to the opening. We look forward to seeing it being harvested of its fruit and vegetable by the community for years to come”.