Poppies to spring up in Fenland to mark centenary of First World War

19:37 13 April 2014

National Centenary Poppy Campaign. Cllr David Hodgson with some poppy seeds ready to sow. Picture: Steve Williams.

National Centenary Poppy Campaign. Cllr David Hodgson with some poppy seeds ready to sow. Picture: Steve Williams.

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Poppies will spring up all over Fenland this summer in memory of those who died in the First World War 100 years ago.

National Centenary Poppy Campaign. Bob Ollier Parks and Open Spaces Manager rakes the ground after councillors and community groups sow the poppy seeds. Picture: Steve Williams.National Centenary Poppy Campaign. Bob Ollier Parks and Open Spaces Manager rakes the ground after councillors and community groups sow the poppy seeds. Picture: Steve Williams.

Community groups have joined forces with Fenland District Council to sow thousands of the symbolic red flowers, some mixed with other wildflowers, which will bloom from mid-summer into autumn.

Street Pride, In Bloom and Friends groups from Benwick, Chatteris, Leverington, Manea, March, Parson Drove, Waterlees, Wisbech and Whittlesey are taking part in The Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy campaign.

Areas where seed has already been sown include Eastwood cemetery in March, Wisbech Park, Church Meadow in Chatteris and the Manor Field in Whittlesey.

The biggest single area will be by the Boathouse in Wisbech, where flowers will brighten up more than an acre of land.

Seed sowing in Eastwood Cemetery.Seed sowing in Eastwood Cemetery.

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “Everyone in this country recognises the poppy as the great symbol of remembrance, so in this First World War centenary year this is a brilliant way of commemorating all those who lost their lives then.

“We are getting wonderful support from local groups for the campaign, which we hope will also highlight the amazing work that the Royal British Legion continues to do to help the whole Armed Forces community.”

Bryan Jones MBE, the county secretary for Cambridgeshire Royal British Legion, said: “I’d like to thank Fenland District Council and its towns and villages for wholeheartedly supporting this campaign.

“The centenary is a particularly poignant time for the Legion. Our charity was born out of the aftermath of the First World War, as veterans’ organisations joined ranks to provide mutual support during the difficult transitional years that followed the Armistice.

“The red poppy of Flanders, the national symbol of Remembrance and hope for a better world, was also born from that conflict. “But the centenary is not only about the past. The work of the Legion in helping Armed Forces families and veterans is as vital today as it was when it was formed.”

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