Everything’s coming up roses for green fingered Cantley volunteers

A GROUP of green-fingered volunteers have been recognised for their hard work to make their village railway station a pleasant spot for visitors.

The gardens at Cantley Station have been nominated for a national award and the dedicated enthusiasts that lovingly tend to its rockery, flower beds, rose bushes and borders are hoping to scoop the top prize.

The Friends of Cantley Station (Focus) work with the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership - which runs trains through the Norfolk Broads - operator Greater Anglia, Network Rail and Cantley Parish Council and keep the station's greenery in tip top condition.

And the hard work has been recognised after Cantley was short listed for a best garden accolade as part of the national Community Rail Awards 2012.

Geraint Hughes, Greater Anglia's partnerships manager, said: 'I'm so pleased that Cantley station has been short listed in the Community Rail Awards' best station garden category.

'Focus do a fantastic job of looking after the gardens, making Cantley a high point of a trip on the Wherry lines. I'm delighted their dedication and excellence has been recognised.'

The Cantley station gardens include a new rose bed that has gained widespread praise, a rockery and four further flower beds with lavender borders, which showcase a mixture of herbaceous perennials, bulbs and shrubs.

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As well as making it blooming marvellous the Focus volunteers have also worked to make the garden self sufficient by incorporating compost bins and water butts. And so enthusiastic are the Focus members they are now tending to gardens elsewhere in the village too.

Chris Wood, of Community Rail Norfolk, said: 'Cantley station garden is second to none and I'd like to thank the volunteers who look after it for their hard work, resourcefulness and creativity.'

But Cantley is not the only station in the county to have been nominated in the awards.

A smart phone app that allows rail passengers to plan their onward journey from stations on the Wherry and Bittern lines has been short listed in the best marketing publication award. The app provides maps for each station, details of local attractions and online ticket purchase.

The Great Yarmouth welcome hosts, who were introduced this season to direct rail passengers into the town and provide advice and information, have been named in the passengers matter award while Norfolk Community Rail, which works to preserve and enhance the excellent track record of the Bittern and Wherry lines, has scooped a nomination for the outstanding teamwork award.

Mr Hughes added: 'I'm so pleased to see so many of the partner organisations around our network short listed for the Community Rail Awards. These are national awards which recognise excellence and promote best practice in community rail development, to be short listed for these awards is a great accomplishment.'

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