Top of the Tanks at Tatton Flower Show

Veterans joined forces with schoolchildren for a groundforce operation to create a blooming display at this year’s RHS Tatton Flower Show.

The spectacular “Tatton Tank”, constructed from recycled pallets and masterminded by Preston’s Dig In Northwest team has caught the eye of thousands of visitors to the annual show in Cheshire which opened this week.

This garden hideaway has been transformed into a tank by the veterans of  Dig In North West using recycled pallets and cable drums. Pictured is veteran Chris Morley.
Picture by Mark Waugh / RHS

This garden hideaway has been transformed into a tank by the veterans of Dig In North West using recycled pallets and cable drums. Pictured is veteran Chris Morley. Picture by Mark Waugh / RHS

It is one of just two inspired projects designed by the team of military personnel and founder of Dig In horticultural therapist and wife of a veteran Donna Rowe-Green.

Joining them on the exercise were schoolchildren from Lea Community Primary School, Ashton Community Science college and Charnley Fold, a centre for people living with dementia.

Donna said: “It has been just amazing – it is one of those things we have been building up to for such a long time and suddenly it's here.

“This concept thought up in the ‘mancave’ has resulted in this spectacular exhibit.”

Preston Railway Free Buffet for Soldiers and Sailors garden. The exhibit has been made by children , vererans and people living with dementia. They have worked together on recreating a scene from WW1. Pictured is Julia Sazon , ten , from Lea Community Primary Schhol , Preston.
Picture by Mark Waugh / RHS

Preston Railway Free Buffet for Soldiers and Sailors garden. The exhibit has been made by children , vererans and people living with dementia. They have worked together on recreating a scene from WW1. Pictured is Julia Sazon , ten , from Lea Community Primary Schhol , Preston. Picture by Mark Waugh / RHS

It is the second year the Dig In team have been invited to create a garden for the show.

The team started work on transforming the 6x4 shed in March and put together the final design on site last week. The tank has built in planters filled with leafy plants to depict camouflage.

Donna added: "When we started pulling together ideas the guys said "Donna, we're building a tank" so I said I love it, off you go and make it. It was very adventurous but it's fantastic.

"Watching the faces of visitors as they catch sight of it has been so lovely, they just break out into smiles and laughter - people have been so positive about both exhibits."

Dig In North West team working on the Tatton Tank for this year's RHS Tatton Flower Show

Dig In North West team working on the Tatton Tank for this year's RHS Tatton Flower Show

The second exhibit is is a depiction of the Sailors and Soldiers free buffet that took place at Preston Railway Station during the First World War.

The schoolchildren and residents from Charnley Fold in Bamber Bridge both helped with elements of the project, representing different generations of war time.

"Each member of the team has been able to incorporate something quite special into the design so we have a representation of the young lads sent off to war, the homefront and have entwined letters and photos into the design."

Donna added: “It wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the Police Community Action Fund, Alf Clempson and members of the Preston Remembers Harris Museum project who helped provide the quotes from letters and photos.”

Preston Railway Free Buffet for Soldiers and Sailors garden. The exhibit has been made by children from Lea Community Primary School , veterans and people living with dementia.

Preston Railway Free Buffet for Soldiers and Sailors garden. The exhibit has been made by children from Lea Community Primary School , veterans and people living with dementia.

Check out more on the team's week at Tatton on their facebook page www.facebook.com/DigInNorthWest