Guerrilla gardeners mark WW1 centenary in Liverpool

In June and July 2014, even before the first ceramic poppy was installed at the Tower of London, a field of wildflower poppies bloomed in Liverpool turning the temporarily vacant land in the Tribeca area next to Liverpool’s China Town, below the Anglican Cathedral, into a blaze of colour.

Their origin was a mystery. For weeks nobody knew where they came from until a local journalist uncovered the source – social enterprise Landlife

Partnering with the Pagoda Arts Centre, a local Chinese cultural organisation, Landlife worked to develop the wasteland in time to coincide with events commemorating the WWI anniversary. With support from multinational Swire, Liverpool City Council and landowner Urban Splash, Landlife worked with the Chinese community (particularly drawn to the lucky red colour of poppies), and local school children to secretly sow a poppy rich wildflower mix in Spring 2014.

Landlife aims to bring communities together using wildflower meadows, creating conservation areas that promote insect life and landscapes that inspire better health and wellbeing. 

Tony Jones, CEO reflects: “The poppies created huge public interest. People stopped and stared at a sight they had never seen in a major city and, in some cases, ever seen.”

The Chinese community also placed Chinese horses – 2014 is the Year of the Horse – around the area, decorated with knitted poppies and messages to remember the sacrifice of the Liverpool regiments.

Landlife: RBS SE100 Vital Statistics

382/1365 on the Growth Index
41/115 for growth in the North West
24/71 for growth in the environment and recycling sector
4/10 impact measurement score


The RBS SE100 Index is open to any organisation delivering social, environmental or economic change. It is created by Matter&Co in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland and RBS Inspiring Enterprise, with the support of Buzzacott and the SROI Network

The RBS SE100 Index is an online listing of social ventures, ranked and scored according to their growth and social impact. The live market intelligence platform is designed to provide a substantial data resource for investors, commissioners and policymakers as they seek to understand the landscape of the social economy and identify top performers across the UK. 

The best of the 1,300 social enterprises that entered their data on the Index have been shortlisted for the RBS SE100 2014, which will be held during Good Deals – the UK's annual social investment conference. 

Photo credit: Landlife