Boost for Wrabness rail station community garden

Monday, 23 November 2020

A community garden at Wrabness rail station, Essex, has received a boost with the installation of a permanent water supply to help keep the plants in perfect condition.

Volunteer station adopter, Julia Prigg approached the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and Greater Anglia for help after having difficulty getting water to the garden, which did not have its own supply.

Julia Prigg standing next to a big white water tank

Julia, 83, has maintained the community garden at the rail station for over ten years, to the great pride and appreciation of local residents, transforming a once neglected area into a lovely community space.

But recently she revealed that the only way to provide additional water to the site in the hot summer months was to run a hosepipe from her own garden, across the road, to reach the station.

In response, Greater Anglia approached its contractor, Railscape, for help to find a more manageable solution and they worked with the parish council to find a suitable area adjacent to the station where they could install a large water tank, which has been funded by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, "When we heard of Julia’s difficulties in managing the provision of water to the garden at Wrabness we had to do something right away.

"Our partners at Railscape were only too pleased to put a plan in place and I’m delighted that the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership were able fund the project.

"It will help make life a little easier for Julia who does an absolutely amazing job that is appreciated by everyone who lives near or uses the station."

Terri Ryland, Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership Officer, said, "I am thrilled that the water tank will make a huge difference to watering the station garden. It is great to work alongside Julia and to see visitors to the garden amazed at the display."

Julia has been described as a ‘true legend for Wrabness’ for her involvement in and enthusiasm for village life, her community and its residents, and her decade-long commitment to transforming the once neglected station garden, ensuring it remains beautiful and welcoming.

On receiving the award for Personal Contribution Award at Greater Anglia’s 2019 Station Adoption Awards, she commented: "I’ve always loved gardening and love the social aspect of being in the station garden."

"I keep an eye on the station and the lovely mural that was created by the Wrabness Art Club and sometimes have local schoolchildren helping me in the garden. I should also thank Herman who mows the lawns. I only have a courtyard garden so its wonderful to be in the garden when he’s mowing and enjoy the smell of the cut grass."