Saxmundham Station Garden Plans Receive Funding Boost

Planting at Saxmundham station April 2021
A look at the planting scheme at Saxmundham station 23 April 2021

The development of a new wildlife friendly station garden at Saxmundham station has received a boost thanks to additional financial support from East Suffolk District Council and Saxmundham Town Council. The local councils have pledged funding to help station adopters Sally Ford and Deborah Dann create a new garden as part of the station’s overall redevelopment after it was damaged by fire in February 2018.

In addition award winning garden designer Frederic Whyte has been commissioned by the town council to design a ‘dutch urban’ themed area for the borders at the front of the station.

Sally and Deborah plan to create wildflower areas at the station, including a large area at the northern edge of the new car park. They also plan to put up bird boxes and a hedgehog house. Recycled wood will be used to create refuges for insects and other small invertebrates.

Sally said, “We hope to achieve a mix of both wild and more formal areas with lots of flowers in both to encourage bees and butterflies and make the station really attractive and welcoming for the community.”

Sally has also crafted a tile from clay depicting Greater Anglia’s red hare mascot which will take pride of place in the garden once the work is complete.

The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership is contributing to the scheme with the purchase of two new flower tubs for the station platforms.

East Suffolk District Councillor John Fisher who contributed £248 from his community enabling budget said, “It is a real privilege to be supporting the work of the excellent volunteers who work so hard to improve the station.”

Town Councillor Tim Lock commented, “The Town Council were happy to pledge £600 of their Sax in Bloom budget for the innovative planting scheme which will make the new station a fantastic destination for people visiting the Town.”

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said, “I can’t wait to see Sally and Deborah’s plans come to fruition and am pleased to be able to support them in their aims through our Station Adoption scheme. This is a lovely project that I’m sure the whole community will enjoy when they come to use the newly restored station.”

Works to rebuild the station building after it was badly damaged by a fire in 2018 are progressing as planned. Repairs to the roof are underway and most of it has now been tiled. Rebuilding the canopy has also started with steel works installed. The next stage of the project will see timber frames installed on the canopy.

As part of the project, platform 2 has also been resurfaced and fully refurbished with a new shelter and seating.