A large floral Spitfire is being installed to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain in Memorial Gardens, Ashford.

It will be made up of 3,400 plants, weighing around one ton and with a wingspan of 4m, and a 3.5m long fuselage.

It was intended to have the Spitfire in the gardens last summer to mark the 80th anniversary, but the plan was delayed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The display will be accompanied with three large panels telling the story about Kent’s involvement with the Battle of Britain and the county’s connection to the iconic plane. Kent was the only county in the country to fundraise to buy a squadron of Spitfires to contribute to the war effort. The panels are being funded by the EU Regional Development Welcome Back Fund as town centres reopen after coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Cllr Andrew Buchanan, portfolio holder for environment and land management, said: “Aspire have made some fantastic floral sculptures over the past few years, and this Spitfire will be a spectacular focal point in the Memorial Gardens. It symbolises the British fighting spirit and how we will come back from the problems of Coronavirus stronger than before.”

Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for culture, tourism and leisure, said: “The Battle of Britain was fought in the skies above Kent and the Spitfire is one of the iconic symbols of the war. It is important to commemorate the airmen who became known as The Few, who gave their lives to keep us safe. This floral sculpture will be a fitting tribute.”

You can see the Spitfire sculpture on the mound in Memorial Gardens. You can view the panels at www.ashford.gov.uk/battle-of-britain

Aspire Landscape Management will be planting the sculpture

By Ed