RIPON'S annual poppy display has now been installed as a mark of respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The display is created annually for Remembrance Day and involves around 65,000 poppies, mostly knitted, which serve as a visible recognition to those who died in the two World Wars and other conflicts.

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And like the Tower of London poppy installations which marked the centenary of WWI, Ripon’s display now attracts visitors from many miles away.

North Yorkshire County Council’s chairman Cllr Stuart Martin, who helps fund the display through his localities budget, visited the town recently and met people from Cheshire and Lockerbie, visiting specifically to view the display.

The display was made possible through a ‘viral’ online campaign several years ago which saw knitted poppies donated from worldwide locations alongside locals.

They have been installed around the town and firefighters volunteered to help get them some of the more hard-to-reach locations.

Cllr Martin said: “Those who made the sacrifice we remember gave us the freedom we have today.

"Without them, we would not be able to do the things we do and it is important to remember them.”

Ripon is a military town and 300 troops will be present for a Remembrance Sunday service in the Spa Gardens followed by a further service at the Cathedral, where the second of Ripon’s two war memorials is situated.

In a further development, metal silhouettes produced to mark the centenary of the end of World War One have been mounted at Hell Wath nature reserve, following years in storage.

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Cllr Martin has worked to acquire a license to have them installed at the site which is owned by Tarmac and was the country’s largest military training ground in WW1, with 30,000 troops on site.

That work has been done in conjunction with the Fields of Mud and Seeds of Hope project, with Dan Metcalf, Jeanne Mundy and Joe Priestley.

The city centre display was installed by volunteers from the Ripon Community Poppy Project, set up with assistance from Cllr Martin and residents Hazel Barker and Carol Dunkley.

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