New floral displays have brightened up Royston station thanks to the efforts of residents and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) staff.
On Wednesday (21 August), GTR colleagues and members of the public joined forces to paint 11 planters, fill them with 3,000 litres of compost and plant more than 100 locally sourced shrubs and flowers, including cistus, vincas, heucheras and nandinas.
Wooden planters were all constructed by inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, The Mount, based at Hemel Hempstead, as part of an ongoing community programme with GTR.
Following the success of a sensory garden at St Neots station, thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage were also planted at Royston.
As part of the gardening project, GTR colleagues hope to boost the local insect population by sowing more wildflower seeds along the embankment on platform 2 and installing two bug hotels, along with two bird boxes in the trees. Nearly 4,000 litres of bark has also been laid on the embarkment on platform 1 to improve the look of the area.
Retired teacher Joan Meakin, who lives in Royston, was among the volunteers to get involved in the station’s gardening day. Joan said: “I think it’s a great idea to enhance the station environment. It’s fun to get involved and meet the staff here.”
Station Manager Shaun Smith said: “It’s a great scheme and it’s good to work with the prison. I think they have done a great job on the planters and they have given back to the community. It helps with their rehabilitation and if they live near stations, when they’re released they will be able to see their hard work on display.”
Royston garden scheme project leader Debbie Harknett, who works in admin support, said: “The new planters and bark have helped transform the station. We hope to have given the insect population a boost by sowing more wildflower seeds as well.”
It is hoped that now the planters are in place, members of the local community will adopt them and look after them, alongside the station team.
Other stations to be brightened up with floral displays in recent weeks include Huntingdon, Stevenage, Downham Market, St Neots and Welwyn Garden City. In the coming months, planters will also be installed at Hatfield and Potters Bar.
If you would like to look after the floral displays at Royston station, pop along and speak to station staff.
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