Nine Foundation Learning students from Trafford College’s pre-internship programme have joined forces with ‘Altrincham in Bloom’ to bring a touch of spring to Altrincham town centre with two beautiful planters.
The College has been supporting the award-winning planter scheme for two years to show its support for the regeneration of Altrincham town centre. The initiative, led by project director Sarah Walmsley, has won gold at the regional Britain in Bloom awards for three successive years. Altrincham has also been chosen to represent the North West region in the national RHS ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition for 2017 in the Large Towns category.
This year’s student volunteers, who started out with their first planter assignment in autumn 2016, were given a brief along with advice from organisers about winter planting. The students researched suitable plants; bought them locally and planted them in time for the Christmas lights switch on. Some of the planting introduced by the green fingered students included bulbs, which means their planters are also now in full bloom for the spring and summer months, and will shortly be updated to reflect a summer theme.
Taking care of the planters is no easy feat. Each year, each planter custodian commits to creating a minimum of two completely new displays per year- one for the summer/autumn seasons, reflecting the agreed town-wide theme, and one for winter/spring to include foliage and late flowering plants and spring flowering bulbs. Trafford College’s passionate and dedicated students also assist in the maintenance of Altrincham and Sale Chamber’s planter.
Students also commit to maintaining their planter on a regular basis, removing rubbish, weeds, dead plants, and replacing if necessary, come rain or shine. To prepare their winter planters, students braved the sleet and snow to bring their creations to life and ensure their planters flourished, despite the freezing conditions.
Foundation Learning tutor, Fiona Halyburton commented, “The students have been proud to take part in the ‘Altrincham in Bloom’ scheme. They have demonstrated commitment by visiting the planters through all kinds of weather to make a positive contribution to our local community.”
Students, Tom Eckersley and Kai Harvey added, “We feel happy and proud when people stop to look at our planters and say they like them. It’s a very exciting project to be a part of.”
The ‘Altrincham in Bloom’ project manages a wide range of initiatives including the town centre planters scheme; transforming the Four Seasons walkway; a ‘Food for Thought’ project at Shaws Green; and a ‘Green Gateway’ project. A Just Giving page has recently been set up to appeal for donations to help further develop new and existing projects, which will help strengthen the town’s entry in the UK Britain in Bloom finals. Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/AltrinchamInBloom if you would like to help.