Friends of Hebden Bridge Station - Introduction
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Friends of Hebden Bridge Station - Incredible Edible Friends of Hebden Bridge Station - Introduction
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Incredible Edible

Every summer, station users and visitors can "pick your own" gooseberries, black, white and red currants from the station car park.

In 2010, inspired by the Incredible Edible Todmorden project, Friends of Hebden Bridge Station volunteers planted some 50 fruit bushes along the edge of the station car park by the rail track and spread 20 tons of compost around them.

Funding for the project came through Calderdale's Upper Valley Safer Greener Cleaner Team, who also supplied the compost.

Two Community Payback Teams helped clear the ground of tree roots and perennial weeds in preparation for planting by the volunteers.

Since then, more compost has been added and the currants and gooseberries continue to thrive despite the encroaching ivy from the railway line which the volunteers are always chopping back. It is just one part of the Friends' ongoing programme to improve the station environs and also to provide a community resource.

Creating the fruit garden


The fruit bushes arrived before the compost and had to be planted as soon as possible. The Community Payback Team had done the heavy work - clearing tree seedlings and shrubs - but we did manage to find a few roots. Planting fruit bushes April 2010 photo 1
Planting fruit bushes April 2010 photo 2 Digging the holes was the hard part - it was more fun planting the fruit bushes. Then we had to water them in. Luckily there's an outside tap at the station. Unluckily it's about 100 yards from the furthest fruit bush.
Twenty tons of compost is quite a lot! It was delivered to the front of the station car park and had to be barrowed across to the fruit bush bed. Barrowing compost 1
Barrowing compost 2 It was rather hot work but a good way to keep fit - and at least it didn't rain.
The compost was spread around the fruit bushes so that the nutrients would spread into the soil when it rained, and to act as a mulch and suppress weeds. Newly planted fruit bushes
Jar of Blackcurrant jelly FoHBS harvested the first year's fruit and made some jelly. Donations for the jelly enabled some plants to be purchased for the gardens.
Volunteers weeding around the fruit bushes in August 2010. We were joined in this gardening session by Bill and Norma Kacoullas from the United States, who love our part of Calderdale and Hebden Bridge station. Weeding around the fruit bushes
Bill and Norma Kacoullas and other volunteers Some of the volunteers from the August weeding session, including our American visitors Norma and Bill Kacoullas (2nd and 3rd from the left). It's very gratifying to think that people from outside the UK appreciate our station. In fact, Bill was sufficiently inspired to write the poem below.

Hebden Bridge Station
A rumble through the years
Through the greening hills
The sound of trains, then calm
As the station starts to fill

Platforms bustle with their crowds
And flower baskets bloom
The Coffee Station selling baps
As sun breaks through the gloom

The decades tell the story
Of how this place remains
A traveler's sweet companion
Despite a world of change

Bill Kacoullas