A new group is banging the drum for railways in a part of Herefordshire.

Beyond the Hills, which is described as a community station partnership (CSP), is working on a number of projects to improve station environments and encourage the use of trains to visit Ledbury and Colwall.

The volunteer group is managed by Rail and Bus for Herefordshire and has been established with funding from West Midlands Railway.

Gareth Calan Davies, who is leading the project, said: “Both railways and communities face big challenges for the future, including tackling climate change and the urgent need to move quickly towards zero emissions.

“The coming together of the railway and communities, especially in rural areas, is important and significant and we are grateful to the funding made available by West Midlands Railway in order to achieve this.

“What better title than Beyond the Hills for drawing attention to this area of fine landscape and interesting historic towns and villages.

“There is a great deal to be accomplished and we hope town, parish and county councils, together with local schools and businesses, will join us as partners and supporters in making the CSP a success with positive and exciting local achievements.”

Ledbury station ticket office could become transport gallery

A small steering group has already been looking at a number of projects including the use of the vacant ticket office cabin at Ledbury station as a transport gallery.

A bus and train times booklet for Ledbury is already in production and the group is liaising with both Ledbury in Bloom and Colwall Parish Council on the upkeep of planters and borders around the two stations.

There are plans to run a schools art competition with railway themes in both Ledbury and Colwall and to introduce cycle hire at both stations.

The group wants to produce and distribute a Walks from Colwall Station booklet and a History of Colwall book, and to explore the possibility of a link bus from Ledbury station to take visitors to the Big Apple Cider Festival at Putley and to Much Marcle in the autumn.

Anyone interested in joining the CSP is asked to email Gareth at ghal@btinternet.com