Railway enthusiasts are digging deep to help plant a trail of B&Q poppy seeds at stations along the Heart of Wessex Line as part of The Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign.
Gardening volunteers gathered this week at Trowbridge station to plant the first Flanders poppy seeds in a trail which will see the flowers planted along the railway route and at the 14 stations between Bristol and Weymouth to support the campaign which commemorates the First World War.
The plan is for the flowers to bloom this summer, in time for the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, and is part of a national initiative from B&Q who are selling Royal British Legion poppy seeds to support the Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign to swathe the country in red flowers by sowing millions of seeds.
The Trowbridge seed plant has been organised by The Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership in partnership with the team at Trowbridge B&Q.
Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for Southwest Wiltshire and the Prime Minister’s special representative for the Centenary Commemoration of the First World War, is backing the scheme and came along to help with the planting.
Catherine Phillips, of the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership, said: “The voluntary and community groups who make up our rail partnership were looking for a way to mark this centenary together, and the idea of poppies in various locations along the railway line was an idea everyone loved.
"When we heard about B&Q Flanders poppy initiative it seemed to be made for us, as it means that we can also make a contribution to the British Legion.”
Mr Murrison said “It was great to be able to sow some seeds in Trowbridge. This project will be a highly visible part of commemorating the Centenary and B&Q, the British Legion and the Heart of Wessex Line must be congratulated for their hard work.”
And Chris Chapman, B&Q Trowbridge manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be selling poppy seeds, to support the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing all the poppies bloom in the summer.
"This scheme to lay a trail of poppies at all the stations along this locally important rail route is really inspirational and exactly what the national campaign is all about.”
There are plans to plant the poppies in various places along the Bristol to Weymouth rail route, and at stations including Avoncliff, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Bruton, Yeovil Pen Mill, Thornford, Dorchester West, Upwey and Weymouth stations.
The Flanders poppy seeds are currently on sale in B&Q stores nationwide. One packet costs £2 and each pack sold supports British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.