A colourful project to plant 28,000 poppy seeds has been launched in Royal Wootton Bassett to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The seeds are being planted around the town’s trees and flowerbeds with hopes that they will flower in September in time for Royal Wootton Bassett’s remembrance events later this year.

The scheme is being led by the town’s business association with £200 funding from Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council.

Hazel Newson, the business association’s chairman and owner of gift shop Dandelion, in the High Street, said: “I think, given our status as a Royal town, it is important we did something like this.”

Over the past two weeks, around 20,000 seeds have been planted with shoots already starting to come through.

She said: “The support we have had for the project has been really positive. We’ve had the town council, businesses and residents all behind us.

“It feels great to see some of the poppies starting to come through. I think it will look absolutely stunning when they come through properly.”

John Macindoe, Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council’s groundsman, has been going out with staff and planting the seeds.

He said: “So many people gave their lives so we could live ours, so the effort that we are going to with this project is nothing compared to what they did.”

Once the poppies begin to flower, the team behind the project will plant more seeds, if necessary, where there are gaps.

The town council and business association hope to continue the scheme each year.

Royal Wootton Bassett has played a role in Britain’s recent military history, with bodies of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan passing through the town as part of their repatriation to RAF Lyneham from 2007 to 2011.