Newport could be awash with bright red poppies next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
Councillors last night agreed the town should show its support for the country’s fallen heroes by sowing tens of thousands of poppy seeds across green areas.
A kitty of £250 was set aside, which Councillor Peter Scott estimated could buy about 500,000 seeds.
The poppies would be planted along grass verges beside roads and along Newport canal towpath, Councillor Scott said.
After discussions with officers at Telford & Wrekin Council, the idea of sowing seeds at Victoria Park has been dropped.
Councillor Scott said: “Next year will be 100 years since World War I began and there will be a lot of commemorating going on across the country.
“I saw on the internet one lady is asking everyone to buy a pack of poppy seeds to scatter to remember the fallen.
“I thought it would be a good thing for us to get involved in. I have spoken to Adrian Corney, who is Telford & Wrekin Council’s environmental maintenance officer. He said he can get the seeds cheaper and he is willing to help with the sowing.
“The whole point is giving Newport a way to show respect to the fallen of 100 years ago. Maybe this might prompt others in Shropshire to get involved and the whole county will be red.
“It’s no good waiting until next year – we need to make plans now.”
Councillor Scott said he would approach Newport’s Heart of England in Bloom team about getting involved. He said Home Essentials and the Pop-up Shop in Newport had expressed an interest in distributing seeds to residents to plant in gardens too.
Councillors agreed to back the proposal, but Councillor Tim Nelson said he was uneasy about commemorating the start of a war. “I can’t get my mind around it,” he said. “The poppies grew on land which was destroyed after the war. They weren’t garden plants – they were weeds.”
And Councillor Tony Forrester added: “My only concern is getting rid of them afterwards.”