VOLUNTEERS at Barnstaple Railway Station are celebrating after it was judged "Outstanding" in the 2023 South West in Bloom awards.

Members of Tarka Rail Association and Barnstaple In Bloom have worked tirelessly to brighten up the station over the past two years.

Work has included: weeding, litter picking, seasonal planting, site cleaning, painting, mowing front entrance grass verges, regularly changing posters and keeping the surrounding bus shelters clean.

Judges from the Royal Horticultural Society and South West in Bloom rated the station "Outstanding" in the "It’s Your Neighbourhood Award" category.

Barnstaple In Bloom also won a gold award, while the Station Masters’ Café was a gold winner in the business category as well.

Tarka Rail Association Vice Chair Tim Steer said: “Barnstaple Station is an important first and last impression for visitors to North Devon and we’re absolutely thrilled to receive this recognition from In Bloom judges.

“This is all thanks to those volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the station. Special thanks must also go to Great Western Railway and Network Rail for providing support and safety training.

“Barnstaple Station really has looked as pretty as a picture this year and we’re delighted it contributed to the town capturing a gold award from judges.

“We must also thank Station Masters’ Café for providing a place to shelter and drinks to our volunteers throughout the year.

“Users of the Tarka line continue to make Barnstaple a popular destination and the station is so successful the customer numbers continue to break records year after year.”

GWR Regional Growth Manager David Whiteway said: “This is just reward for the brilliant work of our volunteers in helping to make Barnstaple such a colourful and welcoming station.

“We are proud of all of our volunteers across the GWR network. They have great local knowledge and work incredibly hard, inspiring sustainable improvements to their community.”