A STUNNING hand-crafted giant poppy wreath has gone on display in a popular York park.

Ahead of Remembrance Day the wreath, which is six foot in diameter, can now be seen in Rowntree Park in South Bank.

The wreath has been made by the Friends of Rowntree Park, craft group that meet on Monday afternoons at the park cafe.

There were about six crafters involved in the creation of the wreath this year, but in fact many of the poppies used have been ‘recycled’ from previous displays in the park that have involved many members of the local community over the years. The craft group have repaired previously used poppies and created some new ones.

York Press: The Rowntree Park wreath with some of the volunteers who helped make itThe Rowntree Park wreath with some of the volunteers who helped make it (Image: Rowntree Park)

Rowntree Park opened in 1921 as a memorial park to remember those Rowntree Cocoa workers who’d given their lives in the Great War. Joseph Rowntree spoke of how he hoped the park ‘would keep green in our memory’ the ideals for which the war was entered, which included making the world a better place. The Rowntree family wanted the park to be a place of rest and recuperation, to get away from the stress and turmoil of life.

READ MORE: Police dispersal order and buses stopped after bad behaviour in York suburb

Nestled amongst the traditional red poppies are also some green, purple and white ones.

The green represents the hopes of Joseph Rowntree. They also symbolise the healing that green spaces can bring to those who suffer trauma and loss and also a symbol of renewal and hope for the future. The white poppies represent a commitment to peace and are in remembrance of all victims of war, and there are also some purple poppies to acknowledge the many animal victims of war.

The large double sided wreath is situated in the cascade/dell area near the cafe in the park, and through one side gives a stunning view of the Grade II lychgate that houses plaques to commemorate those who died in the First and Second World Wars. Above the lychgate is a dovecote. Doves, a sign of peace, were introduced to the park when it first opened.

The craft group sessions were set up around 5 years ago to bring local people together to craft and chat in a relaxed atmosphere, a group partly created by Rosemary Bentley who sadly passed away at the end of 2021.

Jan Kingdom from the group said: “I think Rosemary would have been proud of us.”

The wreath will remain on display until the end of November.

READ MORE: Rosemary 'Bud' Bentley, Friend of Rowntree Park, dies