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Primary school pupils create new garden at Ancaster train station

27 September 2017

A new garden, created by pupils from Ancaster Primary School, will be officially unveiled this week.

Ancaster train station garden

New flower bed at Ancaster train station

Pupils have helped to grow plants for the garden in a poly tunnel donated by AFS Dean Farms, before a group of volunteers from Lincolnshire County Council, Sustrans and East Midlands Trains repainted the fencing, cleaned shelters and signage and cleared overgrown ivy to make sure the station is in top condition for the grand opening at 1.45pm on Friday 29 September.

Project leader Jon Moody, from Sustrans, said: “Collaborating with Ancaster Primary School on this project has, as ever, proven to be very rewarding. The school management and staff are hugely responsive and the children similarly engaged and enthusiastic. However, perhaps the most impressive part of this scheme has been the engagement with the local community from the positive commentary of passers-by to active involvement as volunteers.

“The whole school community have fully immersed themselves in this project but the drive and expertise of one particular staff member, Mrs Lynda Awcock, has been pivotal. Mrs Awcock has not only coordinated the design and execution of the project but sought out and engaged with several funding streams and inspired the children to hold plant and produce sales to make the project financially sustainable. She has liaised closely with teaching staff to create a series of exciting and fully facilitated learning opportunities meaning that all children have the chance to make use of the garden project as a valuable resource.

“Perhaps most excitingly for me, the project that we have created in conjunction with Ancaster Primary School is very easily replicable in many schools throughout the region. Already, we have interest in developing similar programmes at both primary and secondary schools in Sleaford but we at Sustrans would love to hear from other schools wishing to enter into similar collaborations throughout the region.”

Kaye Robinson, community rail partnership officer, added: “The children and volunteers have made a fantastic job of the new garden.

“It’s being dedicated to ‘Railway John’, who tended the former garden on a daily basis before he passed away. His wife will be there to cut the ribbon along with the children and other locals that have been involved.

“The garden is a haven for insects, protecting the local wildlife, and the school is using it to teach their pupils about nature. Locals can also take produce that is grown there.

“I’m sure it will prove a real asset to the local community.”

The garden recently gained a bronze award from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, while the school has earned Royal Horticultural Society awards for its work.

Sam Eden, executive headteacher at Ancaster Primary School, said: “The school is extremely proud to have adopted the train station and help facilitate this wonderful project. It is absolutely wonderful to see the garden come to life and see the wider community engage with the excellent work which has taken place to ensure that our village has a community garden to be truly proud of.”

Donna Adams, stakeholder and community rail manager for East Midlands Trains, added: “This is a great example of so many local people and businesses coming together for the benefit of their community and it’s fantastic that we can play a part in this. We are certain that our customers will enjoy the area that the primary school has created. It is also such an honour that this project has been recognised in the ACoRP Community Rail Awards in the ‘It’s Your Station’ category.”

The commercial sponsors were Alison Plant, AFS Dean Farms and Subway.

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