Peterborough teenager plants flowers donated by supermarket at Lido after council's decision to stop planting

Peterborough City Council announced it would stop planting spring and summer bedding plants to save £50,000 a year.

By Adam Barker
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 12:22 pm

A Peterborough teenager has taken planting flowers in the city into his own hands – bringing life and colour back to empty flower beds at Peterborough Lido with donated plants.

Ellis Hannan, 18, from Newborough, was “disappointed” when he visited the Lido, in Bishop's Road, and saw that the flower beds were empty.

Ellis, who is a keen gardener and studies garden design and architecture, reached out to local businesses for help to re-plant flowers in the empty beds.

Ellis Hannan, 19, from Newborough, has planted donated flowers at Peterborough Lido

Supermarket Waitrose, in Mayor’s Walk, donated £100 of flowers, which Ellis went on to plant outside the Lido.

"I used to go to the Lido regularly but it was a shame to see it so bare and baron outside,” he said. “It needed cheering-up a bit – it’s such a historic part of Peterborough so I wanted to do something.

"I contacted several companies but it was Waitrose who really wanted to help.”

The flowers Ellis planted at Peterborough Lido

Peterborough City Council announced in May this year that it had decided to stop planting spring and summer bedding plants in Peterborough as part of cuts to its budget.

The local authority said that the decision was made so it could continue to meet its statutory responsibilities, such as providing for vulnerable adults, supporting children in care and families in crisis.

It will save £50,000 per annum, which will contribute towards closing a £27 million gap in its budget.

The council later called on volunteers and local businesses to sponsor bedding areas in the city.

The empty flower bed at Peterborough Lido before Ellis planted the flowers

"It was disappointing because the Lido usually looks quite nice every year,” Ellis added.

“The council have had to make cuts, which I understand, but they could’ve still done something.

"They could’ve gone about it differently because they left it late to announce that they were not going to be planting flowers this year.

"It has an affect on the pollinators, especially bees, who rely on the flowers during the summer season. It’s also important to people who don’t have gardens and live in apartments and flats. They want to use these green spaces places to relax and unwind.”

Ellis said that he wants to continue re-planting flowers and will try to reach out to more companies ahead of next summer.

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