Poppy fields to create living memorial to commemorate the Great War
Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam helped sow the seeds of a living memorial to commemorate World War One today [Wednesday 16 April].
A series of poppy fields will be planted across the city throughout the 2014-2018 centenary of the Great War.
The wildflower meadows will not only create areas for quiet reflection they will also become havens for biodiversity.
Three areas have been selected for the 2014 poppy planting programme.
Two are on Skene Road, Hazlehead, at either end of the Denseat Court sheltered housing complex. These areas will be planted with poppy seeds named Flanders Field.
The third area is open space between Stronsay Drive and Hazlewood Primary School where Lest We Forget poppies will be planted. The areas have been chosen for their ease of cultivation, public viewing and soil type.
Poppies were one of the few species of plants to thrive in war-ravaged battlefields of the Great War and inspired the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae which in turn inspired the Lord Provost's idea for the Aberdeen poppy fields.
It is hoped that younger generations of Aberdonians will work with the city's veterans groups and other members of the community to plant the poppies.
Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam said: "The poppy is an iconic symbol of remembrance which everyone recognises.
"As the centenary of World War One gets under way it is fitting to have areas of poppy planting around the city to give us a living reminder of the huge sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.
"The last veterans of the Great War have passed on, but their sacrifices must never be forgotten. Aberdeen's poppy fields will be a peaceful, living memorial to those who lost their lives in a horrific war.
"They will create areas for quiet reflection and contemplation, but also places where wildlife can flourish and thrive."
The Lord Provost added: "This is very much a community project and we want veterans, serving Armed Forces personnel, school children, residential groups and businesses to all get involved, either by helping with the Council's planting project or planting their own poppy commemorations in their gardens or schools."
Aberdeen City Council area officer Sandy Scott is coordinating the poppy planting.
He said: "The creation of poppy fields present unique challenges and their cultivation and planting is often not straightforward.
"The success of a poppy field requires the right climate conditions and an extensive weed control programme.
"We have carried out a considerable amount of research to ensure we get this right and we are confident we will create a series of lasting and fitting tributes to remember the bravery of those killed in World War One."
Sandy added: "The plan is to develop poppy fields throughout the centenary commemorations up until 2018. Initially we have identified a few sites and we will be working hard in the coming months to bring this project to life elsewhere in the city."