Heritage Garden for Uttoxeter Station

2nd June 2014

Anna Walker, Chair, Office of Rail Regulation, to officially open new garden area for passengers.

An innovative teamwork project will be opened today at Uttoxeter station on the North Staffordshire Line (Crewe-Stoke-Derby) by Anna Walker, Chair of Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

The project is Uttoxeter Station Heritage Garden, formerly an overgrown area and part of the former station platform, which has been transformed through an award of £13,000 from Network Rail’s National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP).

The project was developed by East Midlands Trains with North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP) and Uttoxeter station volunteers to create a pleasant waiting area at the station for passengers and further improve the environment of the station.

Through a real teamwork effort, the project was delivered in just 3 months. Firstly, Network Rail arranged and installed new fencing to create a secure garden area away from the working railway. The landscaping design for the garden was then created by the NSCRP and station volunteers for project contactors Bowmer Kirkland and Denby Paving, who cleared and landscaped the ground, which was tarmacked and overgrown, to their design.

Wildlife-friendly trees (including hawthorn and plum) were introduced, plus bench seating, a purpose-built display area, wooden composters and a ‘welcome’ arch for climbing plants. As a further environmental improvement to assist the volunteers in tending the garden, the project includes a manual pump to enable them to source water from the adjacent brook.

Thanks to the volunteers’ hard work and excellent gardening skills, the planting areas are now being transformed with varieties of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Poppy seeds are also being sown to recognise the centenary of World War 1 this year.

The garden’s display area will be used by the NSCRP for a rolling heritage display, including old photographs of the station, and for the display of schoolchildren’s artwork.
Justin Page, area director for Network Rail, said: “We are very pleased to support, and be part of, community projects. This garden is an excellent example of how working together in the community really does help to transform an area. The garden provides a colourful and attractive approach to the station, and we hope the volunteers enjoy maintaining it for the benefit of everybody who uses Uttoxeter station in the future.”

Tim Gledhill, Finance Director at East Midlands Trains, said: “As a regular user of Uttoxeter station, it’s been great to see these developments which have completely transformed the station. This has been an amazing team effort and we’re certain our passengers will appreciate all the hard work of the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, the volunteers and our colleagues at East Midlands Trains and Network Rail in driving this project forward.”

As well as funding from NSCRP, Uttoxeter Station Heritage Garden has been sponsored by donations from the local community, including Top Cash Back, the money back shopping company, which is based in Uttoxeter, and Uttoxeter Town Council.

Anna Walker, Chair, ORR, said: "The revived heritage garden at Uttoxeter station - developed by East Midlands Trains with North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, supported by Network Rail, and delivered by local volunteers - is a great example of how collaboration between the rail industry and the communities they serve can improve our railways."

The attached images illustrate the stages in the garden’s development, from initial ground clearance, to paving and topsoil and the first stages of planting.


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