Volunteers lend a hand for campaign at Fairburn Ings nature reserve

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You have to hand it to this dedicated team of green-fingered volunteers.

The 150-strong group grafted together throughout Friday (April 12), using more than 3,000 flowers to form a giant hand at the Fairburn Ings nature reserve near Castleford.

The 20-metre-long creation was part of the launch for Yorkshire Water’s new Hands Up volunteering initiative, aimed at transforming some of the region’s neglected beauty spots and communities.

Anne Reed, who co-ordinates Yorkshire Water’s volunteering programme, said: “We’ve had a fantastic day and we’re really pleased with the number of people who turned up to plant a few bulbs and have fun with us.

“It’s really important to us to give something back to the communities we operate in, and, while symbolic, today’s huge hand will play an important part in supporting the biodiversity that already thrives at Fairburn Ings.”

Children and their parents enjoyed family activities at the event, and also in attendance were Selby and Ainsty MP, Nigel Adams, and Yorkshire Water chief executive, Richard Flint, who planted the first bulb in the giant hand.

It is hoped that when summer arrives, the hand will help encourage biodiversity at the popular reserve.

The installation includes flowers that already thrive on the site such as cornflower, field forget-me-not, meadow cranesbill and field scabious plugs- which are all proven to attract bumblebees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies.

Later in the year, seeds from the flowers will provide food for woodmice and birds.

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