An award winning park in Stone is paying tribute to the town’s association with the Royal Navy, the carpet bed in the town’s Stonefield Park has been designed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of HMS Collingwood being granted Freedom of Stafford Borough.

The bed is formed from around 9,000 plants including Echeveria, Alternanthera, and Antennaria which have been used to create a display to acknowledge the 40 years and represent the HMS Collingwood logo.

The Fareham-based naval unit has a long association with the market town of Stone and was granted the ‘Freedom of the Borough’ in July 1979. The town was originally linked with the Royal Navy through HMS St Vincent which was named after admiral of the fleet, Earl St Vincent. He was born John Jervis at Meaford Hall near Stone and buried in the town’s St Michael’s Parish Church.

When HMS St Vincent was closed down in 1969 it was decided that HMS Collingwood, a large naval training establishment based in Fareham, near Portsmouth, would take over this affiliation.
Stonefield Park, located in the heart of Stone, was opened by Sir Ernest Johnson in 1928. It includes tennis courts and a bowling green and has held a ‘Green Flag’ as one of the best parks and open spaces in the country since 2016.

Councillor Jonathan Price, at Stafford Borough Council said: “The park bed at Stonefield always becomes a focal point and receives so many lovely comments from local people and visitors – and thanks must go to the hard work of our officers. The display is a fitting tribute to the association the town, and borough, has with HMS Collingwood.”