A tale of collaboration between Community Rail, the local community and GTR’s Passenger Benefit fund.
When the Passenger Benefit Fund consulted with the public for ideas of improvements that would benefit East Grinstead station and its customers, the station gardens scored highly. They are the first sight of the town that passengers see as they leave the station, so it is important to the community that they are well-kept. The normal course of events would be for PBF to employ a firm of (not local) contractors to work on the project, but when the SCRP Development Officer realised this the ex-station partner Andrew Morris, our previous station partner, local resident and professional landscape gardener, whose work at the station has also been recognised by Community Rail Network, was engaged for the project.
The gardens suffer from many issues, they cover a large area, road traffic pollution, inability to water, high winds and 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 remuneration 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 (more volunteering!)
If you would like to be involved, perhaps you have a couple of hours to spare every other month to help keep those weeds under control – do let us know.