Tower of London poppies: Online campaign set up to keep installation for a further year

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation will be completed by Armistice Day on November 11

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The Independent Online

An online petition has been set up urging the government to keep the Tower of London's poppy memorial for an extra year.

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation, created by artist Paul Cummins, will be completed by Armistice Day on November 11, when the poppies are due to be picked and sent out to members of the public who have bought them.

By this time, 888,246 poppies will have been planted, to represent each British fatality in the First World War.

With up to four million people expected to have visited the installation by the time it closes, those still hoping to catch a glimpse of the sea of ceramic poppies have been urged to plan their trips carefully as huge crowds continue to flock to the memorial.

An online campaign has now been set up to keep the tribute open for a further 12 months.

Steven Robbins created the e-petition, urging the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to allow the installation to remain until next year.

One the petition, he wrote: "Keep the poppies beyond 12th Nov, as many thousands of parents, children & grandparents wish to see them & keep the memory of the sacrifice alive". The petition had received 860 signatures by this afternoon.

Members of the public were urged to postpone their visits to the site last week following overcrowding during the half-term holiday.

Despite pupils across the country returning to schools this week, Transport for London has said there remained a "large pedestrian presence" around the Tower of London today.

A spokeswoman for Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the site, said today: "It's still quite busy so we're advising visitors to plan their trips carefully.

"We're encouraging people to visit earlier in the day, before 10am, or later in the day, after 6pm."

Phil Hufton, London Underground's chief operating officer, said Tower Hill station near the memorial had been "extremely busy" and occasionally the station was being closed on police advice.

TfL has urged visitors to the Tower of London to travel to nearby Tube stations Aldgate or Aldgate East or take the DLR to Tower Gateway.

Additional reporting by PA