Southern’s Angmering station gardeners are adding to their green credentials with a new water butt so they can avoid using tap water to maintain their wildflower display.
The Friends of Angmering Station are delighted with the new environmentally friendly water source, which means they will no longer have to fill up watering cans from a tap on the other side of the station and carry them over the bridge.
The water butt was donated by Southern Water and installed at the station thanks to funding from Govia Thameslink Railway’s Passenger Benefit Fund, set up to provide tangible benefits to passengers across the train operator’s network.
GTR’s Head of Environment Jason Brooker said: “This is more than just installing a water butt; it means we can recycle our rainwater and ensure there is water available for the wonderful natural garden at Angmering. It’s small changes that can make a big difference. Alongside water availability, supporting biodiversity and protecting natural capital are key guiding principles in our wider Environment Strategy.”
Deirdre Carolin, who is Chair of the Friends of Angmering Station and a teacher at Georgian Gardens Primary School, said: “We’re delighted our request for rainwater harvesting has come to fruition and it will make a huge difference in the summer to enable us to further develop our garden. It’s very much in line with our ethos of sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening.”
Rowena Tyler, of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, works closely with station partners as a Community Development Officer on the Arun Valley Line and Sussex Coast Line (Littlehampton to Southwick only). She said: “The quest to find a way to harvest rainwater at Angmering station has been ongoing for some time, with many avenues explored. We were extremely fortunate last year to be introduced to Ben Earl, Water Efficiency Manager at Southern Water, and after a site visit which included Dave Waldock, GTR Property Team Manager, things started to move quite quickly. A suitable site was identified and the result is a very neat, unobtrusive water butt.”
Ben Earl, Water Efficiency Manager at Southern Water, said: “Saving water is absolutely essential for all of us, so anything we can do to encourage people to do so, whether that be in their homes, at work or at public places like stations, is truly worthwhile.”
Ben leads Southern Water’s Target 100 scheme with the aim of helping people cut their water use to just 100 litres per person, per day, by 2040.
The Friends of Angmering Station are working on their Beeaware and Beecycle projects this year. Building on their bee-friendly gardening efforts last year, they will be installing interpretation boards so people can identify the different bees they see. They will also be planting herbs for the public to pick.
The Friends will be promoting travel by train and bike by having a poster competition on the theme for schoolchildren. A bike will also be installed in their new herb garden with hanging baskets attached.
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria