How are Scotland’s poppies made?

Staff at Lady Haig's Poppy Factory in Edinburgh hand-assemble five million poppies a year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Staff at Lady Haig's Poppy Factory in Edinburgh hand-assemble five million poppies a year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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THEY are the instantly recognisable symbol of remembrance honouring those killed in conflict.

Poppies will be worn by people across the UK in the weeks ahead of Remembrance Sunday on November 8.

The singer Susan Boyle is a well-known supporter of Poppy Scotland its poppy factory. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

The singer Susan Boyle is a well-known supporter of Poppy Scotland its poppy factory. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

In Scotland, more than five million are made each year to raise funds for The Scottish Poppy Appeal - the biggest street charity appeal in the country.

It raises two-thirds of Poppy Scotland’s funds, which offers support to veterans of all ages.

Every individual flower is handmade at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Warriston Road, Edinburgh.

Poppies in Scotland are different to those on sale in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Those made in Warriston have four petals and no leaf, compared to the two petals and green leaf seen elsewhere.

In order to continue our work we need the public to get behind us once again

Colin Flinn, Poppy Scotland

The first poppy factory was opened in the Canongate area of the capital in 1926.

Named after Lady Haig, wife of Field Marshall Earl Haig, it originally employed just two staff who made poppies using scissors.

Today, rolls of red paper are fed through a special cutting machine which create the four-leaved shape and ribbed texture.

Lady Haig’s moved to its current location in 1965 and more than 40 veterans with a range of disabilities are employed.

They are tasked with making the more than five million poppies needed each year - one for every person living in Scotland - as well as more than 12,000 wreathes used at remembrance services.

The National Council, or Saltire wreath, goes to the City Chambers in Edinburgh as well as the Cenotaph in London, while the Dundee wreath is displayed in the city’s Caird Hall.

Colin Flinn, head of Fundraising at poppyscotland: “The Scottish Poppy Appeal enables us to provide year-round vital support to members of the Armed Forces community living in Scotland, from tailored support to funding services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite.

“Whether someone left the military last week or 30 years ago, if they, or their family ever needs help, we will be there.

“In order to continue our work we need the public to get behind us once again and give as much as they can this year.”

The poppies made in Warriston are distributed from the factory to a team of 10,000 Poppy Scotland volunteers across the country.

They ensure the poppies are visible in shops, clubs and schools along with 25,000 collection tins to gather money donated by the public.

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