WHAT a shame that caring Val Houghton is being stopped from tending the gardens that have become a welcome feature at Atherton Station.

The 73 year-old green-fingered grandmother first started volunteering to make the station’s areas nicer three years ago. But now Northern, which runs the station, has ordered her to stop the free gardening sessions.

They cite safety reasons because she works so close to the line but it looks like she is no nearer than the average commuter. Hopefully, some sort of compromise can be found before Val’s effective skills are lost to the station and travellers forever.