Network Rail set to honour promise to replant memorial garden after it was destroyed by contractor

PUBLISHED: 15:32 26 February 2015

Shepreth county councillor Susan van de Ven and Councillor Philippa Hart from South Cambs District Council in the destroyed memorial garden

Shepreth county councillor Susan van de Ven and Councillor Philippa Hart from South Cambs District Council in the destroyed memorial garden

Archant

A memorial garden destroyed by a Network Rail contractor will be replanted by the company, the firm has confirmed.

Work will begin shortly to restore the First World War memorial garden at Shepreth railway station after poppies and wild flowers planted by volunteers were cut back in August.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “Last year, we apologised for the damage to the flower garden and offered our sincere apologies to the volunteers.

“We know how important this garden is to the local community and we are sorry that it was damaged.

“At that time, we said we would pay for replacement planting.

“The work to replant the garden will be carried out by Network Rail staff and then the garden will be handed to the volunteers.”

The rail company said the work would cost ‘at least a few thousand pounds’.

Shepreth county councillor Susan van de Ven said: “At the time, people were really quite upset about the destruction to the garden.

“Before the garden was built it was a bad area for fly-tipping, so planting the garden was a positive step.

“The original garden cost about £400 which was donated by local businesses and was planted by volunteers.

“It was in its full glory when it was destroyed. It didn’t go down well as it was a particularly wonderful garden.

“There’s an issue with jobs being contracted to third parties who don’t really know the area very well.

“We are really grateful that Network Rail are replanting the garden, they have been really responsive from the start.

“They have been very open and we have been in talks with them from the start about how to put the garden right.

Planting the garden was a symbolic way to honour the history of the village.

The village hall nearby was used as a war hospital, so many soldiers would have caught the train to Shepreth before being treated in the village for war wounds.

Councillor Van de Ven is calling on volunteers to maintain the garden after it has been planted by Network Rail. Email susanvandeven@yahoo.co.uk to get involved.

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