Volunteers improving Ore railway station. By Andy PopeVolunteers improving Ore railway station. By Andy Pope
Volunteers improving Ore railway station. By Andy Pope

Volunteers transform Ore railway station at Hastings

The Friends of Ore Station are in the process of creating a beautiful community garden for people to enjoy.

As part of Community Rail Network’s Community Rail Week, Southeast Communities Rail Partnership and Friends of Ore Station held a volunteer day at the station on Monday May 20

Volunteers from both Govia Thameslink Railway, Network Rail, and SCRP had the opportunity to help in the garden’s creation. The land has been donated to Friends of Ore Station by Orbit Housing and cleaned by them, and it has taken many dedicated volunteer hours to reach this stage.

SCRP Marshlink line officer Sara Grisewood and Community Gardener Suzanne Horgan, who set up Friends of Ore Station and is leading the project, provided homemade cake and drinks for volunteers.

Kevin Boorman, chair of the Marshlink CRP line, said: “It was brilliant to see volunteers, including managers, working together to prepare the ground for the community garden at Ore station.

“It demonstrates how community rail works in partnership with local communities, promoting this year’s Community Rail Week theme of ‘More than a Railway’. This was a great example of the rail industry coming together to build something which will benefit both Ore station users and the local community. I’m really grateful to Orbit Housing for the land, and Sara and Suz for setting the day up, and to the volunteers who really put their backs into the work.”

Tracy Jarvis, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager added: “It was fantastic to get involved in the action as part of this year’s Community Rail Week, showcasing that rail is #morethanarailway. Thousands of volunteers spend time creating wonderful projects like this throughout the year and we are most grateful to all involved.

"We recognise the hard work and planning that goes into helping make our stations vibrant places to visit and can’t thank you enough”.

Suzanne Horgan said: “Nearly a year ago, during a train journey, I couldn't help but notice the sorry state of the raised beds. That moment sparked an idea: how to make a difference in our community.“Now, after a year of planning and hard work, our dream is taking shape. Soon, our neighbourhood will once again boast a vibrant community garden open to all. It's not just any garden; it's a kitchen garden designed with biodiversity in mind, aimed at becoming a vital community hub. It's a place where people can gather, converse, and connections.“Our dedicated team of volunteers has already begun lending their hands to the cause. Over 20 bags of litter collected and bulky waste removed. Plus with the continued support of Great Dixter, who generously donated plants, and the invaluable mentorship of Fergus, we've started planting and weeding. Wildflowers are adorning the station, and soon, a herb bed and community composting bins, courtesy of Josh, Nick, and the Hastings Composting team, will be installed.“Excitingly, the RHS will be visiting us in June, adding to the momentum of our project. With news of contractors coming to clear the site, the transformation of the community garden will soon be underway. With the assistance of GTR and Network Rail community days, we anticipate a swift and successful process ahead.”

If you would like to help with the project, or have any ideas or thoughts on how to improve the area, message Suzanne on the Friends of Ore Station FB page.