ROTARIANS are helping to ensure the Bognor Regis area enjoys a purple patch next spring.
Members of the town’s two Rotary clubs are busy planting thousands of crocus bulbs in the colour to brighten up areas and to publicise the movement’s goal to wipe out polio.
Last Saturday saw seven of them digging up a metre wide strip some 30 metres long of the grass surroundings of the prominent BT exchange.
They spent almost three hours planting about 5,000 corms at the Gloucester Road site.
Nigel Holloway, secretary of Bognor Regis Rotary Club, said: “These bulbs should make the area look colourful when they come up next spring.
“We are doing our bit to make the town look nicer and also to highlight Rotary International’s work to make polio a condition of the past. We chose purple because purple is the colour of the campaign as the children who have been immunised against polio have a purple dye on their thumb.”
The Rotarians aim to plant 40,000 bulbs around Bognor Regis, Middleton and Felpham this autumn after putting in 8,000 last year for the first time.
Tomorrow sees them working with Felpham Village Conservation Society. They will also be in Hotham Park, between the cafe and the boating lake, to double the 8,000 bulbs they put in last year with the help of Hotham Park Heritage Trust.
The sessions can see up to 12 Rotarians take part. They are also working with The Regis School and Felpham Community College as well as Bersted Green, Downview, St Mary’s and Bishop Tufnell schools to inform the younger generation of the devastating effects polio could have on its victims.
Since Rotary International began its work, the number of countries where polio occurs is down to three – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
There were 15 cases last year against the thousands of some 20 years ago. The work is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“We hope the bulbs will make people stop and think about how they can get rid of polio. The more we can do to get rid of it, the better it will be,” said Mr Holloway.