What a glorious June day at the station today! Because of the recent spell of hot, dry weather, the grass had become very long so we have our work cut out trying to keep it all looking neat and tidy. Long grass on the embankments actually looks attractive and forms a habitat for wildlife, but we like to keep the grass on the platforms and alongside the trailway as short as possible. So whilst one of the team cut the grass, another strimmed the edges. But with two platforms each 300′ long, this takes a lot of work! We were also joined by Frances, one of our gardeners, who tended her flower bed near the ‘down’ platform.
Ever since we started work at the station in 2012, an unofficial footpath has existed from the ‘up’ platform into the adjacent field, to give access to the Spetisbury Rings hill fort. Recently the landowner has blocked off this path, and we ask visitors to respect this and instead use the signposted footpath across the field up to the Rings. This can be found by walking a short distance up the lane from the station bridge, then over the stile in the hedge on the left.
At this time of year the main task at the station is almost endless grass cutting and hedge trimming to keep the site looking neat and tidy – not an easy job given we are only a small team that meets once a fortnight, and we have quite a large area to manage. Additional volunteers are therefore urgently needed to help us with the above jobs, also general landscaping, maintenance of the platform furniture and painting, etc. If you are interested in joining us, please see the membership page.
We have recently been in talks with station landowner Dorset County Council to acquire a long-term lease to allow us to continue the work at the station. As part of this lease, we have negotiated a slight extension to our boundary and we are now responsible for the trackbed 25m off either end of the platforms. Importantly, this includes the site of the former signal box so in the near future we plan to further excavate these foundations in the hope of bringing to light further artefacts, as well as answering a few questions concerning the signal box.