Schoolchildren and Rotary plant crocus bulbs as part of push to eradicate polio

Children from six schools will be teaming up with The Rotary Club of on Tuesday 1 November to plant 8,000 crocus bulbs on the Stray.

The planting is part of Purple4Polio, the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s (RIBI) campaign to eradicate polio across the globe. One strand of the campaign is a partnership between RIBI and the Royal Horticultural Society, with Rotary clubs joining forces with the RHS’s community-based Bloom Groups and others to work together to brighten up local areas and promote health and wellbeing by planting 6 million crocus corms across the country.

Stray planting near the Granby


Around ninety children from St Joseph’s, Richard Taylor’s, Oatlands Community Junior , Brackenfield , Rossett Acre Primary and Saltergate Infants helpd Rotary members plant the 8000 purple crocus bulbs on the Granby Stray, into ground prepared by Open Country, the Harrogate based which supports people with disability to access the countryside.

The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Nick Brown, will join the children and Rotary members to lend his support to the campaign.

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.

Crocus bulbs being planted in the pre-prepared holes, although they do look like mole hills!


Terry Knowles who is organised the , is a member of the Environmental Committee of the Rotary Club of Harrogate. He said:

I am most grateful for all the help I have received from Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks service and Sue Wood in particular.

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

The Purple4Polio campaign ties in with the 100 year anniversary of our charity, The Rotary Foundation, which has played a key role in making polio eradication become close to a reality with matched funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Some of the Harrogate Rotary Club
Some of the Harrogate Rotary Club


The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Nick Brown, said:

The Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio has been tremendously successful, and it’s heartening to think that by planting these bulbs, children from Harrogate are helping to eliminate a disease that has affected so many young lives throughout the world.  It is something they can be proud of in years to come, and is a reminder to us all that the fight against polio goes on.


Harrogate Rotary Club President, Margaret-Ann De Courcey-Bayley with the Mayor of Harrogate, Nick Brown
Harrogate Rotary Club President, Margaret-Ann De Courcey-Bayley with the Mayor of Harrogate, Nick Brown
Children from Brackenfield School in Harrogate with some of the Rotary members
Brackenfield Pupils
Planting in action
Jumping to tap down the soil
St Joseph's school in Harrogate
St Joseph’s school in Harrogate
A few of the bulbs going into the ground
Bulbs were shared out to the children

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