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Poppies at Ebbsfleet station to mark centenary of war’s outbreak

Hundreds of thousands of poppy seeds have been planted at Ebbsfleet station so they will flower in August to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The seeds were planted next to the station so anyone travelling on the high-speed trains or Eurostar will see the poppy fields as they arrive.

Dartford Men’s Shed, a new organisation which supports veterans and people who have suffered adversities in life, planted the seeds with help from members of the Territorial Army.

The Dartford Men's Shed organisation planted poppy seeds at Ebbsfleet Station so they will flower in August to mark the 100th anniversary of the breakout of the First World War.

It was born from an idea started by the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Royal British Legion to fill fields with a sea of red to mark the centenary. The project is now a national one.

Dartford Men’s Shed chairman Darren Riley said: “We probably planted about 300,000 seeds on the grass area near the entrance to the car park.

“We split into two groups, some covered the east side and others the west side. We even gave them to people who were asking us what we were doing so they could plant them at their own homes.

“A train driver on the Eurostar also asked what we were doing, took a packet and said he would throw them out of the window when he got to Normandy so they would grow there.

“The poppies should bloom in the first or second week in August, and I can’t wait to see them.

“I must thank the station staff, especially Wendy Spinks, general manger of the High Speed 1 line – she loved the idea and made it happen.”

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