Volunteers from across East Suffolk have been working to bring their local rail stations to the heart of their communities, and this past Friday 15 October they were honoured at Greater Anglia’s 2021 station adopter awards.
Sandy Burns, Laura Hadgraft and Yvonne Maynard, adopters at Westerfield station won the ‘Innovation and Environmental’ award for their work to establish a large wildlife area alongside the platforms, planting over 200 native plants including perennials, grasses and wildflower seed.
Informational lecterns were installed in partnership with the Suffolk Butterfly Conservation Trust and Friends of the Earth to help people identify the bees and butterflies they spot.
The 1st Westerfield Cubs also planted herbs in a specially made planter on the platform for local people to help themselves.
The adopter team at Saxmundham were highly commended in the category ‘Community Involvement’ for a large project that transformed several spaces at the station.
The team planted a wildflower meadow at the northern end of the new car park, provided a habit for insects by building a bug hotel, and filled several new linear planters at the station entrance with a variety of flowers including sunflowers donated by a Saxmundham resident.
The team at Felixstowe were highly commended in the category ‘Best Small Station’ for their efforts.
The station features several planters as well as a natural area that they surveyed to document its flora and fauna.
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said: “Our station adopters are very special people who achieve amazing things to benefit their communities and make them better places to live with their enthusiasm to bring rural stations to life and restore their links to the communities they serve.
Trevor Garrod received the Judges’ Special Award for dedication to his local railway. Trevor was praised for his invaluable knowledge and experience and for his enthusiasm for improving and promoting railway lines in Suffolk and Norfolk. As well as serving as chair of East Suffolk Line Community Rail Partnership’s Line Group North (stations Lowestoft to Beccles) he regularly volunteers at Lowestoft station’s tourism hub, helps with Lowestoft’s heritage open days, and leads guided walks from stations. Trevor is also an adopter at Buckenham station in Norfolk.
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said “Trevor is an invaluable member of the Station Adoption initiative bringing such a wealth of knowledge and experience and so much enthusiasm for our local branch lines. I would like to thank him on behalf of Greater Anglia and all our community rail partners for his hard work and unwavering commitment.”