Poppies could bloom across country park

Poppies could be planted in the Alver Valley
Poppies could be planted in the Alver Valley
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IN FLANDERS fields the poppies blow, so goes the famous war poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

Now similar scenes could be coming to a country park in Gosport under plans being considered by the town’s councillors.

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War next year, it is hoped poppy seeds can be planted somewhere across the Alver Valley.

And for a day of remembrance next year, councillors are working to arrange a fly-past of a historic aircraft to drop the seeds on the ground in a ceremony.

Derek Kimber, the councillor for Lee-on-the-Solent East, is one of the councillors working on the project.

He said: ‘It would be wonderful.

‘It’s in very early stages at the moment.

‘Hampshire County Council would like to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and we are keen to be involved with that.

‘We’ve identified an area in the Alver Valley where we would like to plant some poppy seeds.

‘We’ve made enquiries about possibly getting an aircraft to drop more poppy seeds in a ceremony as well.

‘I will be talking to various groups and organisations over the coming months to see how we can go about taking the idea further.’

Councillors say a poppy field would be a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of those who died in the conflict.

It would also be an asset to the Alver Valley, which is being developed as a country park, and could bring in tourists and encourage people to use the area.

The council already has around 2kg of poppy seeds which can be used for planting in the Alver Valley.

Gosport has the highest ratio of veterans in the country.

According to the Local Government Association there are 68 veterans per 1,000 people in the town.

Next year, the nation will be commemorating the start of the First World War.

A £5m education programme for schoolchildren, including trips to the battlefields and support for an overhaul of the Imperial War Museum in London, is under way.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is also inviting applications for support to mark First World War centenary events.