15 Apr 14

Dungeness B donates thousands of daffodil bulbs

The station gave local schools and trusts 3000 daffodil bulbs – to mark the site’s 3000th visitor - last October and they are now beginning to bloom.

Maidstone Rotary Club were donated the bulbs from Dungeness B Visitor Centre which they sent out to various Trusts and charities so they could be planted last autumn.

Colin Trelfer, president of the Rotary Club said: “We do a lot of work with local schools and charities, and they were all extremely grateful to receive the daffodils. For many, the value was in the activity of getting together to plant them, and it’s good to see that they’ve brightened lives as well as locations. Seeing the colourful results now is just great.”

June Ashton, visitor centre coordinator said: “Reaching 3,000 visitors was a big milestone for us at Dungeness B and now six months on to be bringing smiles to young and old as the daffodils grow is fantastic!”

Residents at The Goodman Centre, a bungalow converted by Age UK as a Day Centre for people with dementia, were given the bulbs as was The Blackthorn Trust, based in Maidstone. The trust helps their patients through activities such as planting in their own Blackthorn Garden as well as the Mall Garden which was previously unused.

Anne Benthal, director of the Trust, said: “The project is helping co-workers at Blackthorn, people experiencing a range of long term mental and physical health conditions, to meet the challenge of illness, feel valued, learn new skills, and gain confidence.

“We were very grateful for the donation of the daffodils. We planted many of them around the edge of the Mall Garden, a patch of previously unused and unloved ground, at the entrance to the shopping centre car park in Maidstone, which Blackthorn is gradually turning into a little “Garden of England”.

“The remainder of the bulbs were planted in pots this year to brighten up a patch of ground at Blackthorn Garden that wasn’t being used through the winter. They will be planted out into the ground elsewhere this coming autumn and give pleasure for many years to come.”

Children from Boughton Monchelsea Primary school had fun planting the bulbs as part of a Victorian afternoon, and the Bearsted Woodland Trust lined a pathway to brighten up spaces between trees.

The visitor centre, which celebrated its anniversary in February, has now welcomed well over 5,000 visitors, many of which are school and college groups. Lots of families have visited during the Easter break and younger ones kept entertained with an Easter egg hunt as well as extra spring-related activities.

Anyone keen to find out more about Dungeness B and nuclear power for themselves can visit the Dungeness B visitor centre. The visitor centre will normally be open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and is open to members of the public.Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, and if booked in advance will be given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To book a visit the public can contact the station via: dungenessBtours@edf-energy.com or call 01797 343728.