Tower Poppies: Volunteers Begin Clearing Moat

Volunteers have begun the process of removing the field of Remembrance poppies from a special installation at the Tower of London.

Work to pull up the 888,246 hand-made flowers began on Wednesday at the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red installation.

Around 1,000 people per day will work over the next two weeks to remove the ceramic flowers, which will then be cleaned and packaged in commemorative boxes to be sent to the hundreds of thousands of people who paid £25 for each bloom.

Each of the poppies represents a British or Commonwealth death in the First World War.

Only the heads of the flowers are sent to buyers. The stems will be dismantled and taken away.

Thirteen-year-old cadet Harry Hayes placed the final poppy on Armistice Day on Tuesday and millions of people have visited the attraction.

Parts of the installation - the Weeping Willow cascade from a window of the castle and the Wave, which forms an arch over the entrance to the Tower - will go on tour around the country until 2018, when they will be gifted to the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester.

John Brown, deputy governor of the Tower of London, said more than 600,000 people had paid for the flowers, which have sold out.

He said: "It is a nice compromise that the two [parts] can go on, but this also actually I am quite of a strong view about the artistic intent of this, this was never intended to last, it reflected the young lives who were lost on a tragic scale.

"There is a bit of me that sort of says if you are going to miss it when it is gone, that's kind of what we were trying to achieve and actually it is good that it is going."