GREEN-FINGERED schoolchildren have planted poppies in a town centre to commemorate the First World War centenary.

Pupils from the Federation of Abbey Schools, in Darlington, planted poppies in the town’s High Row to mark the outbreak of the conflict 100 years ago.

It is hoped the poppies, which have been planted in one of the street’s marble planters, will flower by early August to coincide with national events marking the centenary.

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The youngsters have also planted around 5,000 poppy seeds around their school grounds and further community groups, businesses, schools and individuals are being encouraged to plant seeds in the remaining five planters on High Row.

The project is the brainchild of the Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Gerald Lee.

“2014 is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. It is not a time to celebrate it is a time to remember,” he said.

“I thought that the simplest way to commemorate 1914 would be to ask people to sow and grow poppies in pots, in gardens and in parks. More than 300 people have responded across the borough and I am delighted that poppy plants will be planted on High Row for everyone to see.

“While this simple but lovely red flower is reminiscent of sacrifice by so many of our servicemen and women since 1918, it will also serve to brighten up the town even on the most miserable of days.”

Free poppy seeds are available from Cllr Lee on 01325-314622 or by emailing

Alternatively call 01325-406720 or email