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20,000 Purple Crocus Bulbs Planted in Garstang in Bid to Eradicate Polio

Garstang will be looking pretty in purple next spring when thousands of crocuses flower in the town – but there’s a serious message.

The 20,000 purple crocus bulbs have been planted in areas of high visibility by volunteers from the Rotary organisation, Lions club, local schools, Kepple Lane Park Trust and the Garstang in Bloom team, and with help from Redrow Homes.

It’s all part of a Rotary initiative known as Purple4Polio, designed to highlight the ongoing work to eradicate polio worldwide.

For over 30 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. The amount of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two – Pakistan and Afghanistan - with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.

Mike Bradley, Purple4Polio coordinator for the Rotary Club of Garstang and Over Wyre, explained: “As one strand of the Purple4Polio campaign, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has teamed up with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). We’re working with its community based Bloom groups to bring people together, transform public spaces to brighten up the local area and promote health and wellbeing by planting six million crocus corms across the country. It’s all part of a campaign to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.”

The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised. The crocus species being used is the Ruby Giant.

Half of the Garstang crocus bulbs were sponsored by housebuilder Redrow Homes – responsible for the Canal View development at The Toppings, Garstang – with the remainder paid for by the local Rotary club and Alan Pearson, chairman of Garstang in Bloom.

As well as creating a sea of purple for the town centre next spring – including the Croston Road roundabout, the area around the Methodist Church and outside the Farmers Arms – bulbs have been donated to three local schools bringing valuable learning opportunities to the pupils.

Garstang in Bloom’s Alan Pearson said: “It’s been a pleasure and an inspiration to work with Rotary on the Purple4Polio project and we can’t wait to see the results, both locally for Garstang and also worldwide in helping raise awareness for that final push to eradicate polio.”

Julie Hamer, Redrow sales consultant at Canal View, went along on the day to lend support to the volunteer planters. She said: “We’ve previously sponsored planters for Garstang in Bloom, which have been brightening up the town centre during the summer months. When given the chance to support the Purple4Polio project locally by paying for bulbs we were more than happy to take part. We’re not just building homes, we build communities and supporting the communities in which we build is important to us too. What Rotary and the Garstang in Bloom team are doing here, and overseas, is wonderful – I can’t wait to see the crocuses next spring.”

To find out more about the Purple4Polio project, including to make a donation, visit: www.rotarygbi.org/purple4polio

Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, with a £1.4 billion turnover and building more than 4,700 homes in 2015/16 financial year.

Operating across England and Wales, there is a strong emphasis on providing high quality homes in prime locations and its housing ranges feature designs to suit all lifestyles:

• The Heritage Collection combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors.

• The classically styled Regent Collection features Georgian inspired street scenes and architecture.

• Redrow has also launched a new brand of contemporary homes in Abode, which boast open plan layouts with streamlined kitchen, dining and lounge areas, high specification wet rooms and outdoor living space.

Redrow also creates exclusive bespoke developments in both rural and urban locations. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014, Best House Design at the Sunday Times British Home Awards 2015 and the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year. Its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence. Web: www.redrow.co.uk.