Sutton Coldfield residents adopt Wylde Green railway station to encourage local pride
A group of residents from Sutton Coldfield have adopted the Wylde Green railway station and are working with West Midlands Railway to enhance their local transport hub, making it a place of local pride and community connection by adding arts and landscaping to the environs.
The group of volunteers are called ‘Friends of Wylde Green Station’ and are keen to help make the station a loved and respected local asset by encouraging community involvement and ownership. They plan to develop the station’s ‘Green Corridor’ to help support local wildlife and biodiversity and to install ‘urban art’ to uplift the spirits of passengers.
The station was adopted when lead adopters Nikki Wright and Dawn Whitfield came across the details for ‘adopting a station’ on the Network Rail website when they were attempting to report graffiti on the train station bridge.
It was then they realised that local people could influence the environment of the station.
Since then, the group have registered as a formal volunteer group with the train operating company and have been busy organising local arts displays and planting with events planned for the rest of this year.
The ‘friends’ information and station plans will be on display on their own noticeboard at the station.
Further activities include a powerful new wall mural, continued maintenance of the grounds, gardening work, and the launch of both Remembrance Day and Christmas festive displays.
Nikki said: “We were in COVID-19 times and the neighbourhood felt sad and neglected, so we decided we could potentially make a difference.
“Fundamentally we wanted to make the station a welcoming environment for our teenage daughters, allowing them to travel independently and safely on public rail transport to and from Birmingham.”
Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community for West Midlands Railway, added:
“It is a joy to work with people who are passionate about their local communities and our stations can become beacons of hope for the locality when the efforts of volunteers start to show such great results, developing a real sense of community spirit.”
If you would like more information on the company’s station adoption scheme, the handbook is available online https://www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/adopt-station