The Rutland Poppy Project has brought the local community together to create 10,000 ceramic poppy sculptures commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.
Each poppy, which has been handcrafted by a someone from the Rutland community who volunteered to participate in the project, has now been arranged at Oakham Castle in an eye-opening display inspired by the original work by Paul Cummins at the Tower of London.
The Rutland Poppy Project of 10,000 handcrafted poppies on display at Oakham Castle.
Organisers of the project aimed for it to bring together all generations within the community, to raise funds for forces charities, to improve the lives of those suffering loneliness, mental or physical ill health through active participation in this community project, to increase awareness of the sacrifice made by our forces and to encourage more visitors to come to Rutland.
The Rutland Poppy Project was organised by Vickie Goddard and has involved around 6,000 people (approx 3,000 adults and 3,000 children) in the county with every school taking part. With many proud supporters, including Prince Harry, who sent a message to Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr. Sarah Furness saying 'Rutland has done superbly'.
I took a trip to Oakham Castle to photograph the display, which had gathered quite a crowd. It really is one of the most powerful displays I've seen and each poppy is unique. There are also purple poppies to 'represent the animals who lost their lives during the war' and white poppies 'made for conscientious objectors and our commitment to peace'.
Everyone is invited to Oakham Castle (open daily until 4pm) to see the display where the project with remain until Saturday 24th November, where they will then be available to buy from Oakham Castle, Rutland County Museum and Oakham Library at a suggested donation of £2 per poppy, or you will be able to purchase a commemorative booklet about the project at a cost of £5 (which also includes one of the ceramic poppies) with all proceeds going to The Royal British Legion.
Here is a selection of the photographs I took whilst visiting Oakham Castle this week.