East Grinstead station – DfT Volunteer Day


A short while ago the Department for Transport contacted Sussex Community Rail Partnership, they were looking for a project for their staff to complete during a ‘volunteering in the community day’.  We suggested a bit of ’light’ gardening at East Grinstead station.  On Friday 25, September a group of 15 DfT volunteers arrived at the station and took to the tasks like a whirlwind:

The wildflower garden area was cleared in readiness for re-planting next Spring, Ten large planters were positioned, filled and planted along the platform and outside the station building. The car-park flower beds were weeded and the  car-park area was swept and litter-picked.  The suggested ‘light’ gardening task changed into some quite heavy, hard work.

Then as quickly as they arrived they were gone, off to enjoy a well deserved lunch.

However, nothing is ever that simple, there is a back story and a huge amount of effort by others concerned with the station, who helped to make it all happen.

The project was supported by the following:

Southerns Kate Richards for giving permission for the project and Andy Leister for generously funding it.

Network Rail for donating the plastic piping used as the planters and their team at Uckfield car-park for cutting them to a useable size.

Southerns maintenance team (Dave and Austen) for transporting the planters, buying and transporting the compost and the plants (ten planters use a vast amount of compost and plants to fill them).

Sussex CRP’s Tim Sparrow for the use of his trailer to move the planters from storage at Eridge to East Grinstead.

East Grinstead in Bloom’s Norman Mockford for giving up his time to advise on what was a weed and what wasn’t.

Sussex CRP’s Sam Lear, Southerns Donna Anderson for attending on the day to help marshal the troops and a quick dash to the shops for extra equipment.

All the East Grinstead station staff for their help, suggestions and support on what was a very busy day.