A venture out to see how the friends group in Cark look after their station grounds.
The Friends of Cark Station are a small group of volunteers who have formed a Station Adoption Group under the Northern Rail Station Adoption Scheme only a couple of years back.
Although a sub-contractor had been appointed to take responsibility for vegetation control, their activities were confined to an occasional mowing of the grass.
Dave continues to explain: Our first priority was to clear the mass of brambles from the rear of the station and remove the mass of ivy along the fence. We also cleaned and painted the interior of the shelters. We also carry out regular inspections of the area and have reported instances of damage and antisocial behavior to Northern and through them to the British Transport Police. Happily we can report that such instances are now not as frequent.
Following our initial activities we held a meeting with Northern’s management team responsible for the station and they were pleased with our efforts. We subsequently applied for and received funding from both Northern’s community fund and ACoRP and have been able to acquire a battery-powered brush cutter.
We have since turned our attention to the planted areas and have laid a weed inhibiting membrane covered with chippings on the planted area on the Barrow platform and re-sited some of the shrubs in the planted areas on the Lancaster side and planted flowers, chosen with pollination in mind, in their place to improve the appearance. We also added additional soil and compost in this area.
In the station car park we have created an area for planting, but for the moment had left the bulk of this area for wildlife.
In the station car park we have created an area for planting, but for the moment had left the bulk of this area for wildlife. We entered the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” competition run by Cumbria in Bloom and, following a visit by the judges in July last year, were placed in the category of “Thriving”, which is the second highest grade awarded.
What are our plans?
We have been promised a Community Rail Day at the station by Northern Rail and are currently in discussion on the planned activities on the day. On the station itself we are intending to apply for funding for Amberol planters to be sited on both platforms and we hope to be able to add cycle racks.
Whilst a local business has been extremely helpful in allowing us to make use of their water supply, we hope to install a water butt to be fed from the shelter on the Lancaster platform. We are also hopeful that the station lights will be thoroughly cleaned and painted on the day.
Network Rail carried out a large amount of tree pruning on their land last year, which caused some concern to residents. We were able to arrange a meeting with their representatives, which was extremely productive, and now that we have recently the licence to allow us to access their property, and have received a safety briefing, we hope to start work on clearing brambles and planting local flowers such as bluebells, primroses, etc. in addition to erecting bird and insect boxes to promote wildlife in the area.
We have contacted the Woodland Trust and received advice from them on the best way to tackle the project.
This contains several interesting facts about Cark Station and we have his permission to use that information 4. We hope to create signboards giving a history of the station to be affixed to the fence on the Lancaster platform.
Above details provided by Dave Stubbins of Cark Station.