The Friends of Chelford Station have been relieved to be able to get back to their work of keeping the station tidy and colourful. During 2020, the work was constantly interrupted as the 'Friends' were stood down periodically by the train operating company as the pandemic proceeded.
Finally in 2021, they managed to get a stable working period and were able to replace the old, wooden beds on platform 2 (Crewe direction) with new, self-watering planters, funded by the Community Rail Partnership, Chelford PC and the volunteers themselves.
All the existing beds have been tidied and replanted and the station is now looking much more like its pre-pandemic self.
The large rose bed at the front has been completely renovated by Viktoria and her husband Yuri. This bed suffered really badly during 2020 through lack of attention but it's now getting back to its colourful old self with a new flush of roses, lilac and hydrangea and not a sign of the ground elder that was such a problem.
On the Crewe side path, the bank is in its fourth year of being managed as a wild flower 'meadow'. In the first 3 years, the brambles which dominated the area were continually strimmed and this allowed a greater diversity of wild plants to develop. In spring, it was noticeable that wild primroses had got a firm foothold. At present, the most obvious plants are cow parsley, common knapweed, herb robert, oxeye daisies, scarlet pimpernel, rose bay willow herb and Dryopteris ferns. There's still a lot of bracken and some brambles but the latter do provide sustenance for a lot of pollinators and birds.
The plan is to cut back the vegetation on the bank completely in August and to re-sow some native species into bare patches of soil in Autumn.
If you would like to join the Friends of Chelford Station please contact us here
It's not all industrial scale gardening and everyone is very welcome to contribute as little or as much as they feel able.