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  • Dolau station wins UK 'Best Station Garden' award

    Arriva Station Manager Shelley Hall with local farmer Mike Reynolds, from Dolau   

    A Mid Wales railway station known locally as a gardeners’ paradise has received a UK award. Dolau Station has been judged to have the UK’s Best Station Garden by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP).

    Lovingly cared for by the Dolau Station Action Group for the last 23 years, the station’s garden boasts an array of flowers including roses, geraniums, begonias, irises and gladioli.  Earlier this month (September 2006) the station was officially ‘adopted’ by the group under the Arriva Trains Wales ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme.

    Farmer, Mike Reynolds, from Dolau collected the award on behalf of the station adopters on Friday (22 September 2006) alongside Arriva Station Manager Shelley Hall.  Speaking at the awards Mike said:  “It’s absolutely wonderful to receive a UK award for the work that local people have put in to improve Dolau Station.

    “Everyone involved in the group – which includes two other farmers, a solicitor, a journalist, two office clerks and a highway supervisor - really enjoys caring for the station’s gardens.  Even after 23 years, the group’s enthusiasm is as strong as ever.”

    Dolau station is no stranger to winning awards and the group’s devotion to their station has been recognised by over 30 awards.  In June 2002, Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip made a special visit to Dolau during their Golden Jubilee Tour of the UK.  A commemorative plaque was unveiled on the platform and the Queen was provided with a tour of the station.
                         
    The affection for the station is shown by the comments made in the station’s visitors’ book on display in the waiting shelter.  These comments include: “a delightful surprise” (D Bowen, Cheltenham), “a great pleasure being here” (J Kruel, Bad Rappenau, Germany) and “wonderful” (R Murray, Australia).

    The marketing strategy to promote the Heart of Wales railway line, and stations including Dolau, to local people and visitors from across the UK received the ACoRP Marketing Community Rail Award for the Heart of Wales Line Forum.

    On winning the awards the Heart of Wales Line teams have been congratulated by Arriva Trains Wales and have also received special recognition from Andrew Davies, the Welsh Assembly Government Minister responsible for transport in Wales.

    Andrew Davies, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, said:  "These awards are marvellous news for the Dolau station adopters and everyone working to promote the Heart of Wales Line.  Encouraging people to use public transport regularly is an important part of our transport policy and projects like this can only help to promote both Dolau Station and the beautiful Heart of Wales Line – a line that I myself enjoy travelling very much.

    “Arriva's success under its Adopt a Station scheme, here and at other stations across Wales and the borders, is a tribute to their commitment to involving communities in their local railway.”

    Geraint Morgan, community affairs manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said:  “We are really delighted that the efforts of community rail officers and station adopters to promote the beauty of the Heart of Wales Line have been recognised like this.

    “The community spirit and determination shown by local people to ensure that the line and its stations provide a welcoming gateway for rail passengers is something that we are extremely proud of.”