Special needs students from a school in Highgate commemorated the outbreak of the First World War by planting poppy seeds in flower beds at Alexandra Park.

Fifteen Year 11 pupils from Highgate Wood School, in Montenotte Road, marked the centenary of the Great War yesterday morning.

The teenagers were taken on a guided tour of the park and palace to learn about Alexandra Palace’s varying roles in the conflict – first as an encampment for displaced Belgian refugees and later as a German and Austrian internment camp.

They were then escorted by Alexandra Palace chief executive Duncan Wilson, park manager Mark Evison and learning officer Isobel Aptaker to the south slope, where they planted poppy seeds donated by Capital Gardens Limited.

Over the next few weeks, 1,000sq m of pre-prepared garden beds across Alexandra Park will be sowed with poppy seeds to mark the centenary of the First World War.