NORTHWICH and Greenbank stations have both been honoured at this year's Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards.

Both Northern-operated, Northwich won the Cheshire West and Chester Award, while Greenbank was highly commended in the Best Kept Gardens category.

The awards were presented in front of 160 guests, including the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, at The Grange Theatre in Hartford on Tuesday, February 5.

Awards chairman Mark Barker said: “The awards evening is a celebration and a thank you for all the volunteers, community groups and rail staff who do so much to brighten up our stations in Cheshire.

"[Northwich's] approach to the station has some well cared for flower beds, also planters and hanging baskets on the Manchester platform.

"There was a photo montage of Heritage Lottery Young Roots Project on the importance of the railway to the local area.

"Greenbank station has some pleasant planters on the platforms to relieve an otherwise bare station.

"Fences have been painted, including a First World War mural, and the station is tidied every Monday by the volunteers."

Cllr Alison Gerrard, Northwich town mayor, said: “I am so pleased that both our stations in Northwich got accolades at this fantastic community evening.

“Our team at Northwich Town Council are proud to have helped at Northwich station and I have every admiration for the volunteers who work up at Greenbank railway station every Monday."

Graham Hallett, from The Friends of Greenbank Station, said: “Along with my colleagues Mark Goulborn and Nigel Nutt, we are delighted with this mark of recognition.

"Being noticed and acknowledged for what you do as a Friend is the best thanks you can get.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, added: “It’s fantastic to see so many communities taking an active interest in the railway – and putting so much effort into making the most of their stations.

“We are proud to be part of Cheshire’s Best Kept Stations and to have the chance to recognise the amazing dedication and hard work of volunteers across the county.”