Above their station!

Whitecraigs Station receives a Keep Scotland Beautiful Platinum Award.  Left to right: Steve Montgomery (M.D. First Scotrail), Gary MacIntyre (Scotrail staff), Derek Robertson (Keep Scotland Beautiful), Elaine Bell (Service Quality Manager, Scotrail).
Whitecraigs Station receives a Keep Scotland Beautiful Platinum Award. Left to right: Steve Montgomery (M.D. First Scotrail), Gary MacIntyre (Scotrail staff), Derek Robertson (Keep Scotland Beautiful), Elaine Bell (Service Quality Manager, Scotrail).

WHITECRAIGS railway station is blooming, according to Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The East Renfrewshire site has been named the best in the country, gaining a unique platinum status in the charity’s first ever tidy station programme.

All 346 ScotRail stations were assessed, and each checked for litter clearing, recycling, waste management and links to the community.

Winning station Whitecraigs may be picturesque with original Edwardian features, but it was the surrounding gardens which earned it a place at the top of the charity’s list.

Spurred on by a volunteer from the community, Scotrail staff have helped install more than 30 flower beds and tubs, as well as a rock garden and improved signage.

Langside man Gary MacIntyre, who has worked for the rail company for 34 years, attributed the win to the work of those community volunteers who came up with ideas to breathe new life into the landscape.

Gary (59), commented: “It’s super news to have earned platinum status, and comes after a lot of hard work, particularly from our station adopters, to introduce colourful new flowers to brighten the place up”.

Scotrail’s Adopt a Station scheme was first put into action at Whitecraigs by Peter McKinlay, from Newton Mearns.

The management consultant applied to the programme in 2008, suggesting new ways of brightening up the surroundings through gardening.

Peter then rolled up his sleeves and got to work alongside staff members, gaining a best new individual adopter award in 2009.

He is “delighted” that the station is now reaping the rewards, and added: “The partnership with ScotRail has really worked – it’s great that Keep Scotland Beautiful has recognised that with this award”.

Whitecraigs is one of many adopted stations across the southside and East Renfrewshire, with community groups and schools undertaking the work needed to make them shine.

Crosshill station has been adopted by gardening group South Seeds, while Maxwell Park is paired with Pollokshields Heritage.

Pollokshields East station is tended to by The Hidden Gardens project, and Queens Park station is a pet project for the Hollybrook school in Govanhill.

Stations have been adopted for a number of reasons – some because the scheme offers free accommodation in return for caretaking, and some just to tidy up their neighbourhood.

To find out more about adopting your local station as an individual or a group, contact John Yellowlees on 335 4787 or visit www.scotrail.co.uk/content/adopt-station.