Govia Thameslink Railway has announced it will be working with community and environmental charity Groundwork East to spruce up 19 stations across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
The projects will improve how the stations look and feel, and their sustainability credentials. A selection of stations will enjoy new landscaping including ‘pollinator areas’ to attract and protect bees. Local people will get the chance to be involved in the planting fun, with special ‘Community Days’ planned for passengers and residents.
At three of the stations – Bayford, Welham Green and Welwyn North – landscaping schemes will be carried out through Groundwork’s award-winning ‘Green Team’ training programme. This gives volunteers who are currently unemployed the opportunity to gain work experience, new skills and City & Guilds qualifications in both horticulture and employability.
Children at selected local schools will also be offered an exciting opportunity to create new artwork representing their area. Many of their creations will be permanently displayed at stations in the new year.
Future partnerships with other Groundwork regional teams are in the pipeline to freshen up a further 56 stations across the GTR network, making a total of 75.
Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, and James Newell, Groundwork East’s Executive Director, signed up to the partnership and launched the programme officially at Radlett station on Friday [20 November] by starting the planting of 100 crocus and daffodil bulbs.
Tom Moran said “We are delighted to be working with Groundwork to improve our stations and support our local communities. Our multimillion-pound station improvement programme includes landscaping or planting at 75 stations in total. Much of the work will be carried out by trainee landscapers recruited by Groundwork, who help support local people to develop their skills and ultimately find work.
“I’m looking forward to seeing our new landscaped areas in bloom next year as well as some of the fantastic new artwork we are commissioning to brighten up everyone’s journeys.”
James Newell said: “We’re delighted that GTR has engaged us to improve stations for their passengers. As a responsible business, GTR shares our mission to create stronger, healthier communities, and better prospects for local people.
“Our Green Team volunteers will transform spaces in and around stations while also receiving help with their employability. Local community groups will get involved in some landscaping work, including the creation of wildflower areas to support the nation’s bee population, which is under threat.”
Groundwork East start preparatory work this month, and passengers will see the artistic and horticultural results by early spring next year. The train operator is also discussing similar programmes to be carried out by Groundwork London and Groundwork South.
Photo credit: Govia Thameslink Railway