Urban gardening volunteers plant 150kg of daffodils in Cliftonville

Cllr Barry Manners and Green Party rep Jessica Lauren helped plant bulbs in the park

Volunteers, including Conservative councillors George Rusiecki and Barry Manners  and Green Party representative Jessica Lauren, have planted 150kgs of daffodil bulbs and 2000 crocus bulbs as part of an initiative by the Friends of Botany Bay CIC to improve green spaces in Cliftonville.

Following an approach by Dell Gardens volunteer leader Meryl Hawkins, the team received permission from Thanet council and planted 60kgs of daffodil bulbs near the library and children’s play area at Northdown Park. In Spring it’s hoped they will create an attractive display beneath the surrounding tree canopy.

Bulbs have been planted in Northdown Park

Cllr Manners, also a director of the CIC, wants to see more community led initiatives to improve the visual appeal of this part of Northdown Park.

He said: “The play area is popular with young families, thanks in part to its off-road car park. I’m hoping to meet TDC Open Space officers early in January to explore additional ideas for planting around the play area. We’re looking at ideas for herbs and native wildflowers, in particular.”

Jessica busy planting

The group also planted 80 kg of bulbs along Princess Margaret Avenue and a further 10kgs were planted to support a community tidy up on KCC land between Knockholt Road and the Ridings.

Cllr Manners said: “Princess Margaret Avenue is where many people get their first glimpse of the sea when visiting Thanet. First impressions are always important and as a seaside community I want visitors to appreciate this as an area that’s welcoming and cared for.

“We have also fundraised for trees to be planted by Highways as well  – so far four have been planted and I understand more should be forthcoming.”

The Friends of Botany Bay CIC funds its urban gardening work with an annual fundraising dinner at St. Philips Church. They also receive funding from

Southern Water for their beach clean work, employing a year-round litter pick team from Joss Bay to Palm Bay.

Cllr Manners will be liaising with Southern Water to continue this beach clean work throughout 2024, although nothing is yet agreed.

Subject to successful fundraising at their gala dinner the team propose planting an additional 500 kgs of native, wild daffodils in Autumn 2024 along roadside verges. They also hope to tackle some of the unsightly, neglected leftover patches  on the Palm Bay Estate to smarten them up while incorporating pollinator friendly planting.

Follow them on Facebook @botanybaykent


  1. Copying the good work by volunteers who a have been planting in Westbrook and around the Nayland rock shelter and station approach Margate and outside age UK centre Randolph house in Zion place cliftonville led by Rory Waite and his wife and volunteers as far as I know they are not a cic all volunteer donations thanks Tom Richard ash and us at the Margate town team the Margate school who support and donate to them

  2. People have been doing this in Minnis Bay for years, but that corner of Thanet rarely gets covered by the local press.

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