Station Adoption Scheme Thrives Despite Pandemic

Station Adopter flower tubs along the East Suffolk Lines 2020
Some of the Station Adopter activities along the East Suffolk Lines in 2020

Greater Anglia’s station adoption scheme continued to grow despite challenges and travel restrictions that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme which see volunteers designing and planting station gardens, and tending to platform flower tubs attracted almost two-dozen people to its ranks; twelve new adopters joined in December alone.

For more than 15 years station adopters have played a pivotal role in making stations along the East Suffolk Lines and the wider Greater Anglia network attractive gateways to the community. In addition to flowers and plants adopters have helped wildlife thrive through the creation of dead hedges, toad hotels and the installation of bird boxes. Some stations now feature community art projects and small museums thanks to the the station adoption teams.

Greater Anglia and the regions Community Rail Partnerships provide funding to cover the costs.

The most recent stations to welcome new adopters are Diss, Elsenham, Manningtree, North Fambridge and Wymondham.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, who manages the scheme, said, “Station adoption is about empowering local people to ensure their local rail station plays its part in benefiting the community.”

“Our station adoption volunteers have worked with us on some fantastic projects over the years such as opening a small museum in a redundant station building, growing fruits and herbs in tubs for the community to use and planting wildflowers to help local bee and butterfly populations.

“They make such a positive difference their local area through the Station Adoption scheme and I think this is why we are seeing it grow in popularity.

“It is very rewarding to work with community groups and see their plans comes to fruition and I look forward to welcoming even more new adopters in 2021.”

Greater Anglia now has over 250 adopters at more than 130 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

There are still 22 stations available for adoption. They are: Braintree Freeport, Brimsdown, Chelmsford, Cressing, Elmswell, Enfield Lock, Great Chesterford, Great Yarmouth, Harlow Mill, Harlow Town, Harwich International, Meridian Water, Newport, Ponders End, Rye House, Stansted Airport, Sawbridgeworth, Southend Victoria, Southminster, Stansted Mountfitchet, Tottenham Hale and White Notley.

Anyone interested should contact .