Community partnerships make Uttoxeter bloom

16th June 2016

  • Uttoxeter station volunteers make Fairtrade symbol come alive with plants
  • Picknalls First School ‘Eco Committee’ plants sunflowers and summer colour at Uttoxeter station

Uttoxeter Rail Station volunteers have launched two special initiatives which will brighten up the town at a special event on Thursday 16 June.

First, Councillor Dave Trenery and Former MP Janet Dean will launched a specially commissioned display of plants which has been designed and planted by Station volunteer Mick Eyre, together with Peter Fisher and other station volunteers. The display represents the Fairtrade Symbol and is located beside the new Waitrose store at the entrance to the underpass to the station and is designed to support and promote the Town’s Fairtrade Campaign. The designer of the display, Mick Eyre, worked for Stoke on Trent Parks and Gardens for many years and helped them win gold medals at the Royal Horticultural Society Tatton shows, including three best in shows. He was also responsible for much of the planting at the 1986 Garden Festival in Etruria.

The Chair of the Fairtrade Uttoxeter Steering Group Janet Dean said: “This is a brilliant example of partnership between different groups promoting and enhancing the town. The display is not only a beautiful addition to the Uttoxeter townscape, it also reminds people of the importance of ensuring that producers in the developing world get a fair deal for the goods they produce through Fairtrade arrangements.”

Councillor Dave Trenery, who is Chair of Uttoxeter in Bloom and secretary of the Fairtrade Group said: “This is a wonderful demonstration of the way in which groups can work together to enhance the appearance of the town. It will be a great asset to the town’s bid for another Gold Award in the Heart of England in Bloom awards. Uttoxeter is a beautiful place to live and this just makes it better.”

For the second project, Picknalls First School joined with North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP) to help station volunteers further improve the green spaces at Uttoxeter station. Children from the school’s ‘Eco Committee’, led by teacher Naomi Jones, have been growing sunflowers from seed which they planted in the station gardens. They also be joined the station volunteers to create a summer planting display on Platform 1 in red, white and blue in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday this year.

Faye Lambert, Project Manager for NSCRP, said: “Picknalls First School’s ‘Eco Committee’ project is a unique and inspiring way of engaging children to learn about, protect and improve their environment. We are delighted to have the children on board and their support will help us further improve the station environment for customers. Their involvement certainly shows the pride they have in their town and their school and we look forward to working with the Eco Committee on further projects for Uttoxeter station.

“It is also great to see our dedicated team of station volunteers, most notably Mick Eyre, putting their extensive gardening skills to use in creating this special Fairtrade garden. It has brilliantly brightened up the walkway from the station to the town. Many thanks to Uttoxeter Town Council for providing the funding to make this happen. Both projects really illustrate how much can be achieved by working in partnership.”

Picknalls First School Head teacher Anne Tapp said: “'This is a wonderful opportunity for the children at Picknalls First School and we were honoured to be invited to take part. It is great for our children to be involved in a community event that can really help to make a difference, and continue to develop their understanding of supporting and working for the local community. We are excited to develop our links further within Uttoxeter, as schools should be at the heart of the community. We have been focusing on the motto 'Proud to be Picknalls' and this is now being developed as being 'Proud to be Uttoxeter.'


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