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Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri
Welsh Highland Railway Society

Society Projects
Photo: Graham Cartland Glover  

Tending Beddgelet Station's flower beds

The Project:

The project aims to keep all the railway's gardens  and 'green bits' in a presentable order . There is close collaboration with this group and the Society's 'Adopt a Station' initiative. 

Joint Landscape Group


Since the demise in 2001 of the original landscape group formed by Jan Woods, regular grounds maintenance at Dinas and Waunfawr and later at Rhyd Ddu has been undertaken by just three people.   They have received the additional occasional support of ad hoc groups of up to five people when major tasks have had to be tackled at both Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu.   This support, which has drawn on about 12 volunteers who have been prepared to help when they can has been invaluable on several occasions.   However as the railway extended, the workload increased significantly and the ad hoc approach to organizing working parties was not adequate for the challenges involved.

It is important that as a tourist railway we recognise the image of the railway that most of our passengers take away with them relies as much on the appearance of our stations as it does on the interior finish of our coaches and the views from the windows.  We know from comments we have received from passengers at both Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu that they do appreciate the landscaping and have noticed the different themes that we have evolved at different stations.

The decision of the Company and the Society to pursue the Adopt a Station scheme in 2009 provided an opportunity to draw more people into the various aspects of maintaining the appearance of the stations.   The adopting groups or individuals take responsibility for the regular care and maintenance of the fabric of the stations including  weeding and tidying of planting beds and flowerboxes on a regular basis.   This will be especially true at the larger stations like Dinas and Waunfawr which have extensive areas of planting.   It is anticipated that eventually volunteers with gardening knowledge will be attracted to the teams at individual stations to do this work.   However there are many heavier annual tasks that need additional volunteer resources on at least three key occasions in the year, including volunteers without much gardening experience.

Establishing the Joint Landscape Group

These issues are at the core of the decision to try re-establish a Joint Landscape Group of volunteers which it is hoped could join together on at least three occasions during the year in early spring, summer and late autumn.   In some years there may need to be an additional working party for a special project that cannot be fitted into the seasonal working parties.

Whilst it is anticipated that the Joint Landscape Group will bring together volunteers from Adopt a Station teams it will also seek to attract volunteers from other groups and those from across the country who cannot make enough regular visits to North Wales to volunteer on the trains, the permanent way or in the Works.

Lopping, pruning, heavy lifting, strimming and bramble bashing are all things that non gardeners can do with very little guidance and anyone who wants to help improve the ambiance of our stations would be welcome to attend working parties of the Group.

With this approach in mind an ad hoc working party was formed to blitz the beds and embankments at Waunfawr in October 2009.   The workforce included four volunteers involved with the adoption of Dinas and Waunfawr Stations, with additional help for the heavy duty work from a member of the Tuesday Gang, Pete Hugman with strimmer and John Peduzzi with his chain saw. Those present agreed that there would be a lot to be gained by putting joint working parties on to a regular footing with advanced publicity and activity reports in the Snowdon Ranger magazine.

This now forms the basis for a Joint Landscape Group that is established under the umbrella of the Adopt a Station scheme, but which is open to all who would like make the railway’s stations as attractive to our passengers as those to be seen on the best preserved standard gauge lines.   The proposed three working parties would meet at selected locations for a trial period, starting in February/March for a pre-season blitz to prune shrubs and clear out winter debris; a summer tidy up to follow in June/July before the main holiday period, a big autumn blitz in October/November to cut back the summer growth, carry out tree work, prune back shrubs and plant new stock for the next spring where appropriate.

Reports and information about future working parties will be published in the Snowdon Ranger.   If you would like to get involved with the Joint Landscape Group contact Graham Cartland Glover on 01483 473440 for a chat.

Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri is a Registered Charity, №1094938

All content webmaster or as indicated - This page updated 15th January 2014 by David Tidy