poppy field



The Royal British Legion is delighted to announce the Centenary Poppy Campaign, which originated in the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch of the Legion, will be rolled out nationally in partnership with B&Q.

The national campaign will see the Legion asking the public and local authorities to purchase Flanders poppy seeds from B&Q to plant on their own land. Guidance from Defra states that seeds should not be used near agricultural areas of sites of scientific interest. Seeds will be available from the end of October.

 The idea for the campaign was initiated by members of the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch of the Legion, who are now working alongside the national charity to implement the scheme in communities across the UK. You may have read in the papers that the bid submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund by the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch was turned down. This bid was for a local project to provide poppy seeds in the Kent area only. This campaign has now been amalgamated with the national campaign. Money raised will go into the Greenhithe Poppy Appeal budget, as they initiated this activity, with Head Office providing support and managing the partnership with B&Q

 The campaign will see the UK awash with poppies during the centenary period in commemoration of all those who lost their lives in WWI. The funds raised by the campaign will go towards the £1.6million the Legion spends each week on vital care and support to the Armed Forces community.

 Whilst some of the details above were embargoed, all branches received a communication about the forthcoming activity. However, it has come to our attention that some branches are attempting to initiate negotiations with other seed retailers, thereby risking impacting on the success of the national campaign. Additionally, some branches are apparently selling poppy seeds online. This not only contravenes Legion policy, but also and opens up issues with tax and again, risks impacting on the success of the national campaign.

 Further advice and guidance about how you can support the campaign in your local community and encourage others to do so will be provided in due course.

 We would like to ask for your help in sending a communication to all branches to highlight the key messages below:

•              This is a national campaign generated by the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch

•              B&Q are the official partner poppy seed retailer, with RBL receiving a donation from the sale of every pack of poppy seeds sold

•              RBL’s HQ are providing support to the initiative, and managing the partnership with B&Q

•              Monies raised will be credited to the Greenhithe Poppy Appeal, as they initiated the campaign

•              Any additional activity linked to the sale of poppy seeds, either through retailers or via online activity, is against Legion policy and risks jeopardising the success of the national Centenary Poppy Campaign and impacting on the funds raised for RBL.