GREEN-fingered school pupils have joined forces with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to plant 5000 crocus bulbs, as part of a worldwide campaign to see polio eradicated.

The Year 2 pupils from Preston Primary School helped the Council’s school grounds team plant the purple-flowering bulbs, which were donated by Stockton Rotary Club, in the grounds of Preston Park.

For more than 30 years Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland have been working to rid the world of polio and the purple crocus is a symbol of this campaign as it represents the purple dye used to mark the finger of children who have been immunised against the disease. Thanks to the help of Rotary, cases of polio worldwide have reduced by 99 per cent and 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with Rotary’s Purple4Polio campaign, which aims to plant six million purple crocuses across Great Britain and Ireland.  Our school grounds team joined forces with Preston Primary pupils to plant the bulbs so that when the blooms arrive in the spring people visiting Preston Park will not only see a blaze of colour but will remember the need to continue to tackle this disease.”