This is the site of the former Merstone Station (previously Merstone Junction Station) but now the machines passing through have two wheels and are human powered, as the old railway line has been converted to a cycle track. The site is now a wildflower meadow and orchard.
The site of the former Merstone Station is set for a marvellous makeover thanks to grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Local charity, Gift to Nature, are delighted that their bid to improve the site and encourage more people to use the space, as well as understand its heritage and future, has been given the green light and are eager to get the project off the ground this March
Situated along the National Cycle Network route 23, Merstone Station was closed to passengers in 1956 and the natural environment has been gently reclaiming the area ever since. The old railway track was converted to a now well–used cycle path and the station is the perfect place to stop for a picnic along the way.
Gift to Nature took over the management of the site in 2016 and after consultation with the community are now in a position to start the work to create a more open and inviting space, along with some highly requested shelter and hand carved benches.
Local woodcarvers and heritage experts will all be involved as they work to bring the site back to life as a key destination along the route.
A new refreshment concession is also due to operate from the site from this Spring.
How to get there
By bus – Newlands Stop (Route 2) is right outside. (Bus Timetables)
By Car – There is a gravel car park on site, parking is currently free of charge. Approx site postcode for satnav PO30 3DQ
The site is level and has a well surfaced cycle track running through it.
What to look out for
The station platform is still in place, but has been colonised by wildlife! It is now managed as a wildflower meadow, full of colour in spring and summer, attracting lots of bees and butterflies.
There are picnic tables available next to the platform.
The wildflower meadow continues on the opposite side of the island platform to the cycle track. At the North end of the site the track becomes wooded and you might manage to spot Red Squirrels if you take a walk or cycle this way. There are a number of circular walks available around the site.
Managing the site
The site is managed for wildflowers, with annual cutting and removal of arisings to ensure the flowers don’t get overrun by grasses and scrub. A range of fruit trees were planted a few years ago providing food for humans and animals alike. The blossom also provides a great source of early nectar.
There are various ways you can help improve and maintain our sites. We rely onconservation volunteers to help with many tasks and also need people who are happy to regular visit the site be our “eyes and ears”, this means we can respond much quicker to issues. Find out more here.
You can also help by becoming one of our regular supporters. Even giving a few pounds each month can make a real difference, with your donation being invested into site management and improvement work to benefit site visitors and look after our precious wildlife. Sign up here.