Rayleigh station community garden makes Anglia In Bloom awards shortlist

Rayleigh’s newest public garden is in the running for ‘Best Community Space’ at the Anglia In Bloom awards.

The nomination comes after the rail station garden also won ‘Best Shared Garden’ at the Rayleigh In Bloom competition.

The garden opened on May 19 thanks to the work of The Friends of Rayleigh Station who have spent the last year working with the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, Greater Anglia, the town council and local residents to transform the space and create a facility for the whole community to enjoy.

The garden features murals designed by students at Sweyne Park School, a bug hotel built by the 1st Rayleigh Cubs and many plants donated by local people and local garden centres.

Rayleigh Town Council, the Community Rail Network, the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and Essex County Council Localities Fund gave grants to the project, totalling £14,850.

£2,000 was also raised by individuals and local businesses from the Rayleigh community.

Anglia in Bloom forms part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom competition – a campaign set up to help get the best out of villages, towns and cities both environmentally and florally.

The aim of the competition is to encourage the improvement of surroundings through the imaginative use of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping. It also aims to achieve a litter free and sustainable environment.

Winners will be announced on September 7.

Community Rail Partnership Officer, Catherine Gaywood, said, “We’re delighted to hear that the station garden has already been recognised at Rayleigh in Bloom and now Anglia In Bloom.

“It’s a fitting endorsement for all the hard work that has been done to create this lovely community space, with so many people offering help and support and we have been delighted to hear the kind and appreciative comments as the garden has developed.

“Being recognised with awards so soon after it has opened is the icing on the cake.”

Jonathan Denby, Greater Anglia’s Head of Corporate Affairs, said, “This great new public space further enhances the benefits that the station can bring to the town – and helps to place it at the heart of the community, increasing awareness of the opportunities to catch a train for work, social and leisure opportunities.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]