Downham Market students plant the seeds for a blooming success

The sound of laughter echoed around a nature reserve on Wednesday morning as schoolchildren kicked off the Downham in Bloom 2012 campaign

Around 55 pupils from Clackclose Primary School went to The Willows just after 10am and planted some of the 3,000 daffodil bulbs intended for the urban green space close to the town centre.

The year-one pupils thoroughly enjoyed getting out of the classroom and getting their hands dirty while officially starting the 2012 campaign.

It will be the sixth year that Downham Market has entered the regional competition and the town is pushing for a gold award next year.

Kerry Heffernan, Downham in Bloom committee member, said: 'It was great to see the children enjoying themselves while planting the daffodil bulbs. This is just the start of months of hard work in the town and we hope this year's campaign will be our most successful yet.

'We got a bronze award in our first year followed by a silver the year after but we have now had silver gilt for three years and really want gold.'

'Last year our committee numbers dwindled to four people but now we have people like town councillor Pam Sharp and Chris Bamfield [director of leisure and public space at West Norfolk Council] on board which is great.'

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Mrs Heffernan also praised the unpaid work carried out by a team of offenders from the community payback team who prepared the ground ahead of Wednesday's event.

Ashley Cawley, Year One teacher at the school, said: 'This event really ties in nicely with our Forest School programme which sees us take the students out of the classroom to places like The Willows.

'It's really good for them to see how their environment changes and it will be great to bring the pupils back here in the spring.

'They will be able to see the rewards for what they have done here.

'We also see a different side to the children when we bring them outside because they don't perceive activities like this as being educational and just enjoy themselves.'

For more information about Downham in Bloom, contact the town council on 01366 387770.

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