Poppies set to bloom at station to commemorate anniversary of World War 1

Lucinda Valentine (Network Rail), Emma Borley (BBC Radio Cambs), Sallie Bates (Network Rail), Susan

Lucinda Valentine (Network Rail), Emma Borley (BBC Radio Cambs), Sallie Bates (Network Rail), Susan van de Ven (Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group), Paul Oxley (First Capital Connect Stakeholder Manager), Karen Gregson (First Capital Connect Station Services Manager), Sally Willers (Shepreth Wildlife Park) at the launch of the poppy planting - Credit: Archant

POPPIES are to be planted at a railway station ahead of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

The Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group is backing the project, which would see the flowers planted on land around Shepreth Station. It is hoped they would be in bloom by next summer, which will mark 100 years since the Great War began. The war began on July 28 1914 with Britain declaring war on Germany on August 4 1914.

Chairman of the rail user group, Cllr Susan van de Ven said: “The idea would be to tidy up the scrubland abutting the Cambridge-bound platform, which is an eyesore, and transform it to draw attention to the role of the station in transporting wounded soldiers to Shepreth Hospital.

“The land in question is owned by Network Rail, who together with First Capital Connect and Shepreth Wildlife Park are very keen to support the project. We are meeting on site to discuss what needs to be done to bring the idea to life – clearing the brambles, preparing the ground and then planting poppy seeds in preparation for next year.”

The group is asking Cambridgeshire County Council’s environmental contractors, Amey Cespa, for free compost to help preparation of the soil, and is appealling to residents to provide poppy seeds from this year’s home garden seed harvest. Anyone wishing to lend a hand can contact Cllr van de Ven on 01763 261833.