A display of more than 800 handmade poppies has been set up in a churchyard to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Volunteers spent much of last Friday setting up the display in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church, Halstead, ahead of a weekend of events marking the centenary.

Most of the poppies had all been made by students and staff from Ramsey Academy who were looking to replicate the famous poppy display that surrounded the Tower of London in 2014.

Further contributions from St Andrew’s and Holy Trinity primary schools, the Adult Learning Group at the Resource Centre, the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, and nurseries in the town means an initial target to create 600 poppies has been smashed.

Steve Pittuck, who runs a gardening club at Ramsey Academy, said: “I was greatly moved to see the Tower of London display of ceramic poppies several years ago.

“When I heard of the project to place handcrafted poppies in the grounds of Holy Trinity church, the gardening club grasped the challenge.

“Many students came along to do their bit in cutting and painting over a number of months.

“We hope our contribution will make people stop and contemplate the reason for the display.” Included in the display are more than 300 wooden poppies.

A further 200 have been knitted and crocheted by textiles students, while their peers from ceramics made an estimated 100 clay poppies.

The poppies have been placed in the front of the church gardens, making them visible to drivers passing through the town.

The display is expected to remain in place for the Anglia in Bloom judges’ visit next Friday.

It is also hoped it can be reused for future remembrance events, including armistice day in November.

Hayley Kiff, who helped organise the display, said: “We put an appeal out on Facebook on Friday to see if we could get some help putting the display together.

“It was such a hot day and because the ground was so hard they had to drill into it to put some of the poppies in. We had people just turn up wanting to help out. They brought their tools along and offered water.

“It was a great example of the community spirit we have in Halstead.

“The feedback from the public has been great so far.

“Lots of people have been stopping to take photos.”