New garden and bee-friendly sculpture to provide haven at Alresford rail station

11 November 2020

A project to install a sculpture in a new, accessible wildlife garden at Alresford rail station is nearing completion.

Bee friendly sculpture

The project has seen local volunteers, children from Alresford Primary School and the Cobnuts Co-operative, come together with Greater Anglia, the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and the Bee Friendly Trust to install two raised planters filled with bee-friendly plants and a unique sculpture that doubles as a home for wildlife.

The sculpture, made by the Cobnuts Co-operative, a local eco-arts cooperative who design creative habitats from the traditional material ‘cob’, is being completed in collaboration with help from Alresford Primary pupils and depicts commuters, as well as providing a home for bees who will be able to make holes in the cob to live in.

Local schoolchildren made their own pottery to help complete the large sculpture – which also features a living roof and spaces for bird boxes.

Terri Ryland, Community Rail Partnerships Officer for Essex County Council said, “The work that is done here by local residents and the small team of station adopters is breath-taking and makes Alresford station such a wonderful place to visit.  The gardens are not only beautiful and interesting but are of real benefit to the community as well, with all the produce that is grown here, and the new garden and sculpture now makes it even more welcoming.”

Greater Anglia’s Community and Customer Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said, “We are delighted with the result of this wonderful partnership project. The garden and brilliant sculpture have transformed the rail station from somewhere to wait into somewhere for everybody to enjoy and benefit from, including our all-important local wildlife.

“We work with many station adopters across the region on projects to improve biodiversity such as this. It’s really important to us as we continue our green journey, helped by the introduction of our more environmentally friendly new trains.”

Dr Luke Dixon, co-founder of the Bee Friendly Trust, said: “Our wonderful relationship with Greater Anglia and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership continues with what might be our most exciting project yet.

“With new partners Cobnuts and our gardening team we are thrilled to be creating a new garden, commissioning a unique sculpture built from local cob, and installing a talking bench. The result will be a place for pause, peace, reflection and refreshment.”

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