Every poppy counts: Wind turbine lights up in remembrance of Armed Forces


A turbine at Swinford Wind Farm in Leicestershire has been transformed into a giant poppy to honour the contribution of every member of the UK’s Armed Forces, and to promote the 2020 Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The 125-metre-high wind turbine had a 90-metre-wide poppy head projected onto the blades, while a cascade of smaller poppies fell 80 metres down the turbine tower.

Energy company Vattenfall, which is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, highly values the role that former military personnel have played for the UK. Nearly 10% of its UK workforce currently come from a military background, having developed many of the skills required for careers in the renewable and low carbon energy sectors while serving in the armed forces.

This year the Royal British Legion’s message is that ‘every poppy counts’, and people are asked to back the Poppy Appeal in new ways as the appeal has adapted to the threat posed by Covid-19.

From donating for ‘poppies through the post’ for neighbours and communities, displaying poppies in windows, donating online or undertaking a virtual ‘poppy run’, the Legion has introduced a number of new ways for people to support the Poppy Appeal from home in line with Covid-19 restrictions

In support of the 2020 Poppy Appeal, Vattenfall is aiming to fundraise £10,000 to help the Royal British Legion, and donations can be made via the company’s Just Giving page.

Colin Brown, Senior Business Development Manager at Vattenfall and a former Royal Navy Submariner, said: “At this time of the year we normally see an army of loyal volunteers and supporters selling and wearing poppies. However, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the usual fundraising effort of the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.

“The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.  We hope that this small symbol of our respect and appreciation encourages people to keep supporting the annual Poppy Appeal and the assistance it provides to veterans and their families."

Mark Smith, Community Fundraiser for the Royal British Legion and a former Royal Artilleryman, said: “Remembrance Day is important not just to private individuals or groups of people, but to industry and commerce as well. Every poppy counts, and this particular poppy will have been seen for miles around, as well as people driving past on the M1.

“It’s a timely reminder of the sacrifices of the past, and which continue to be made by our Armed Forces and their families for our sake.

“We’d like to thank Vattenfall for their commitment to helping the Poppy Appeal and the Royal British Legion raise both awareness and funds to support so many veterans.”

Andrew Harrison MBE, a serving member of the Royal Engineers, said: “As a serving member of Her Majesties’ Armed Forces, I fully understand the impact that the Poppy Appeal has on the Armed Forces community, and the subsequent welfare work it underpins.  This vital support is effectively provided by the public through their generous donations which, every year, never cease to amaze me.

“I’d like to extend my own personal thanks to everyone making a donation this year, and to all those involved in creating this incredible visual tribute to those who have served their country.”