A primary school has unveiled a new garden it has designed and adopted to brighten up the daily commute at the village railway station.
The new garden, created by Ancaster Primary School, was officially unveiled on Friday.
Pupils helped to grow plants for it in a poly tunnel donated by local business, AFS Dean Farms, before a group of volunteers from Lincolnshire County Council, Sustrans and East Midlands Trains repainted the fencing, cleaned the shelters and signage, and cleared ivy.
The project was led by Jon Moody from Sustrans. He said: “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.”
He said one staff member’s role had been pivotal. Lynda Awcock, with support from parish councillor Andrew Newton, coordinated the design and execution. She found 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 learning opportunities to use the garden project as a valuable resource. Although designed to be ‘low maintenance’ teh children will regularly visit to look after it.
Mr Moody added: “Already, we have interest in developing similar programmes at both primary and secondary schools in Sleaford.”
The garden has been dedicated to John Cooke, known as ‘Railway John’, who tended a smaller garden on the site on a daily basis before he died. His son, Stephen cut the ribbon in front of children, staff, parents and guests. Older pupils cycled to the station and there was a railway themed ‘Bling ya Bonce’ decorated cycle helmet parade. Winners of a ‘Design a Carriage’ competition saw their designs made into an eight foot long train cake.
The garden has been designed to be a haven for insects and bird life and locals can also take produce grown there. It has won a bronze award from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and five Royal Horticultural Society awards.