DOGGED digging by a Wirral councillor has solved the mystery of why the hardened poppy apparently refused to grow on a Wallasey roundabout.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War the local authority have planted poppies outside the town hall and on roundabouts across the borough.

The familiar red flowers have started to show on many of the roundabouts – except the one at Wallasey Village, which has not shown a trace of the bloom.

Tory councillor Leah Fraser, who represents the area on Wirral Council, contacted the local authority for an explanation. She was told initially by a senior officer that the plants had all died.

She said: "So, the poppy, which survived the trenches and World War 1, which transformed the landscape in Northern France and Flanders into fields of blood-red flowers, is unable to survive a Wirral roundabout?"

Cllr Fraser persisted with her investigation and was then told that there must be something wrong with the soil.

She observed: "This is strange because until a couple of months ago flowers have been successfully planted on the roundabout and have been for as long as I can remember."

She was finally told that poppy planting at the roundabout had been delayed because of the existing plants there.

She said: "I was determined to get to the root of this issue. I was not prepared to see this roundabout bereft of poppies while the rest of Wirral played its part in the WWI commemoration."

Cllr Fraser is also at daggers drawn with the council over the planting of poppy seeds in Wallasey Village by a community minded group of women volunteers.

They were planted outside St Nicholas’s Church only to be destroyed in council weed-killing operations.

She said: "Weeds are rife at this time of year but I feel extremely unhappy that the council workforce can’t tell the difference between weeds and flowers."