Volunteer station adopters and gardeners around the country spend their own time to make their local stations look bright and cheery.
Across the Northern network, stations are home to displays of flowers, herbs and vegetables, thanks to the tireless efforts of these hard-working community volunteers. The planters – and occasional vegetable patches – not only provide colour and beauty, they also deliver improved mental health and wellbeing for the volunteers and Northern’s customers.
To encourage customers to get out and about, enjoy fresh produce and explore all the railway has to offer, Northern has produced a map, highlighting some of the finest examples of on-station horticulture that celebrate the work of these gardening greats.
Northern’s director of stakeholder and community engagement, Carolyn Watson, said: “We are pleased to be able to support so many volunteers who do an amazing job creating these spaces for the communities along our network.
“On many of our stations, there are planters and gardens where passengers can take away produce for free. And, of course, the green spaces can also provide a moment of tranquillity and can help to brighten-up daily commutes.
“Gardening is great for our social, mental and physical well-being and we are proud to support and, where possible, get involved in so many of these community-led projects.”
National Allotment Week took place from August 10-16. It is a campaign to highlight the important role allotments can play in people’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as being a source of fruit and vegetables.
Nearly 80 per cent of Northern’ stations are home to community groups and station adoption programmes. These groups take part in planting floral displays, art schemes, growing sustainable produce, creating community hubs, working with those affected by mental or other health issues and tackling social isolation.
Northern is also home to the last remaining railway nursery, which is based in Poppleton, near York. Here is a video about it: