Preliminary Earthworks Carried Out

The next pivotal stage of our Centenary Development Programme began this weekend with the support of our volunteers.

We are hugely grateful to Chris Ball and his team for the executing the earthworks, clearing the way for the new buildings. The effort took significantly longer than planned as the stump of an Ash tree had wrapped its roots deep beneath the turntable and delicate foundations of the carriage shed. This resulting in many painstaking hours to remove it. Unfortunately, the turntable had to give way. Though it provided a great physical exercise and teamwork activity for all involved!

These preliminary earthworks are key to enable the railway site to stabilise over the next year ahead of constructing the new buildings. This now means we can start planting lots of new trees to boost the orchard and surrounding areas. In the next few weeks, our youth members and adult volunteers will be seeding the site with a special grass mix of six varieties. This should be fast growing and rich source of food for bees and pollinators. Hopefully the site will look a bit nicer in a week or two once it has had a chance to recover.

Editor Notes

  1. The preliminary earthworks form part of the preparation project phase of the Downs Light Railway Trust's Centenary Development Programme.
  2. The Downs Light Railway Trust's Centenary Development Programme aims to increase youth engagement in heritage railways, provide greater practical learning opportunities and strengthened community involvement. The programme hopes to realise these aims from 2025 when the Downs Light Railway is 100 years old.
  3. The Downs Light Railway Trust was recognised by the Heritage Railway Association in their 2021 Annual Awards for its contribution to youth engagement.
  4. The Downs Light Railway Trust was setup a charitable trust in 1983, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Registration number is 513882.
  5. In August 2021, the Downs Light Railway Trust was registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration Number 1195660.
  6. The Downs Light Railway was started by The Downs School (Colwall), now The Downs Malvern, in the early 1920s and was formally established in 1925. At over 96 years old, it stands to be the oldest private miniature railway worldwide.
  7. The Downs Light Railway educates on average 15 children on each session. These children are aged between 7 and 18 years old. Dedicated sessions are provided to local educational establishments. General youth activities are open to all children.

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