Nantwich in Bloom are Station Adopters for Transport for Wales (TfW) and plant and plant maintain the floral displays in the sleeper beds and containers on the platforms as well as reporting back to TfW with any issues on the platforms.
We have been presented with many awards from Cheshire Best Kept Stations over recent years and in 2019 received the Merseyrail in Bloom Award to add to our collection of plaques.
We also send representatives to Crewe and Shrewsbury Passenger Association (CASPA) meetings, as well as post information on our activities to their website.
We have worked with Transport for Wales staff (previously Arriva Trains) to improve the Station sleeper beds by adding an extra tier of sleepers and increasing the volume of soil contained within them. Volunteers worked very hard in removing old plants from the two large sleeper beds on the Crewe platform before the revamp and re-planting those which were suitable in the remaining third north facing sleeper bed on the opposite platform.
This work enabled a partial replanting of the beds on the south facing Crewe side with more sustainable, permanent planting suitable for shallow soil. We selected plants which were recommended to survive in hot, dry conditions.
Our choice of plants reflected the history of Nantwich as a ‘salt town’ since Roman times, and a country market town previously centred on dairying and cheesemaking, and also its link with John Gerard’s Herbal.
Sea Thrift, a sea side plant was included in the planting to link with the local salt brine springs. Hardy Agapanthus has associations with seaside. The planting with three types of decorative grasses reflected the surrounding rural dairy industry.
Aromatic evergreen herbs such as English Lavender, Sage and Thyme emphasised the link with John Gerard. The margin around the edge of the bed where people sit on the sleepers was planted with low growing plants such as mixed Thyme which are less subject to damage and release a scent when touched. Lavender is also said to have a calming effect, the grass Stipa tenuissima is very tactile and soothing. All are beneficial for waiting passengers!
The remaining evergreen flowering plants, Phormium, Kniphofia, Bergenia, Hebe and Convolvulus have provided seasonal colour but also give visual interest all the year round. Flowering bulbs, such as crocus, daffodils and tulips provide welcome colour in the spring.
There are areas in all the sleeper beds for seasonal planting of bedding plants to give additional interest, planted in the summer with Pelargoniums, Cineraria and Salvia which are replaced with polyanthus, pansies and wallflowers in the autumn; this is mirrored by planting in the wooden planters.
The large sleeper bed on the Shrewsbury side contains a mixture of shrubs, herbaceous plants and bulbs with some seasonal planting to provide colour. This bed will be improved by removing old plants, refilling with new soil and replanting when funds allow.
Usually the old station building is festooned during the summer with hanging baskets supplied by Nantwich in Bloom, watered by a solar powered watering system linked to two large water butts, filled by rainwater runoff from the roof of the building.
- To improve and replant the large sleeper bed on the Shrewsbury platform
- To add flowering and berrying shrubs and more winter colour
- To work with TfW to make the station more sustainable in terms of watering and increase the biodiversity of our planting.
- To work with Nantwich Town Council to increase the link between the Station and the town of Nantwich
If you would like to come and join us as a Station Adopter please contact: