SCORES of volunteers braved the rain to help plant a special tribute to the fallen of the First World War.

The Poppy Road Poppy Project aims to plant two fields of poppies in land just off Holgate and Poppleton Road, in memory of those who died on the centenary of the start of the war, and people of all ages came out on Saturday to help plant the seeds.

Clea Grady, one of the organisers of the project, said: "We had the guides and about 10 different groups of families, the Marriott Hotel turned up to do coffee, tea and breakfasts, and a lot of children came which has been brilliant.

"We had about 100 split between both sites which is better than we were hoping for when we saw the weather at 8am."

Volunteer Steve Roberts said: "It's been great becasue some people came just because the weather was bad, just to show some support, which was fantastic. One chap said the rain didn't stop them back in 1914, so I thought I had better show up."

Among the children attending was Poppy Bailey, whose grandmother made the first donation to the group, Poppleton Road Primary School and groups from CPP and other local businesses, and City of York Council leader James Alexander also turned out to help with the planting.

Word about the project, which should see the poppies bloom by mid-July, has also spread not just throughout the community, but around the world.

Clea said: "The great thing about it is everyone has got behind it for a good reason and it has that community feel, especially having three generations of families down here planting so we couldn't really wish for better than that.

"I'm from New Zealand and the plant was the day after ANZAC Day, so I have been planting with New Zealand in my head. Someone from York got in touch on Facebook to tell me she was planting poppies in New Zealand in memory of the First World War after seeing our idea, which is fantastic."

Claire Waines, communications co-ordinator at Benenden Health said: “Benenden Health is proud to be sponsor of the Poppy Road Project, which is taking place right on our doorstep.

“Our staff volunteers were all delighted to be able to represent Benenden Health as we sprinkled seeds that will soon grow into a beautiful Poppy meadow.

“We’d like to thank the project volunteers for putting together the whole project as it is going to make a real difference to the scenery around our offices.”

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