Fury as council mows down memorial poppies

Residents in Warsop are unhappy that the Council have cut down a bed of poppies on Mansfield Road
Residents in Warsop are unhappy that the Council have cut down a bed of poppies on Mansfield Road

Bungling council gardeners have been blasted for mowing through flowerbeds filled with poppies which were being prepared to mark The Great War.

Warsop Parish Council had organised the seeding of the area at the entrance to the village, next to the A60, to signal the 100 years since the war began.

Mansfield District Council had intended to remove the flowerbeds to help reduce maintenance costs, but the parish council stepped in and agreed that they would maintain the area.

The red flowers, which symbolise wartime remembrance, were weeks away from flowering to coincide with late July when the war began in 1914.

But following confusion, a council gardener ‘ploughed straight through them’ on Friday, much to the annoyance of parish council chairman Stuart Moody and those who had worked to plant 2kg of poppy seeds.

In addition, the parish council had also designated an area near to Warsop’s Cenotaph which had been purposely left to allow further poppies to seed.

However, this has also been cut down.

In an angry letter to the council, Coun Moody said: “This hard work has been single-mindlessly been destroyed by the ineptness of somebody within the district council.

“Warsop’s commemoration of the Great War is now reduced to a few poppies that are almost about to bloom on land adjacent to the library.

“Unfortunately this land belongs to the parish council and is not in danger of being attacked by district employees.”

Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, Coun Phil Shields, who also sits on Warsop Parish Council, said: “We are deeply sorry for the genuine mistake that was made on Friday.

“We understand the strength of feeling and are urgently looking into how we can rectify the situation.

“We have ordered 288 Flanders poppy plants and are continuing to try to source more from nurseries around the country but it is proving difficult at this time.

“We are aware that other poppy plants are available but the commemorative Flanders poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is the one we are trying to find.

“We are waiting to hear from the organisers about whether they would like the poppies to be planted in the existing areas or in a different location and planting will take place as soon as they arrive. The existing areas will be re-seeded for next year.”