Northern Ireland

Rihanna video: Wildflowers to be planted in north Belfast 'hopeless place'

Rihanna Image copyright AP
Image caption New Lodge video: Police had to call in reinforcements to hold back up to 1,000 fans who crowded the narrow streets to watch the star and her team at work in 2011

An area of north Belfast branded a "hopeless place" by Rihanna in her controversial We Found Love video is set for a wildflower makeover.

The R&B star filmed much of the video in the New Lodge flats.

It is an inner city area dominated by large residential tower blocks.

As part of an environmental initiative, young people and residents will clear away foliage and weeds and plant an arrangement of native wild flowers.

The flower-planting scheme by organisers Grow Wild is aimed at brightening the urban area where the filming took place.

We Found Love became a UK number one and depicted the singer as a drug-abusing thrill-seeker in a relationship that quickly spiralled into addiction and violence.

Stephanie Baine, Grow Wild Northern Ireland manager, said: "It's all about bringing people together to brighten up forgotten spaces, and that is precisely what is happening here.

"It shows the New Lodge is definitely not a hopeless place."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rihanna spent two days filming her We Found Love video in Northern Ireland

Another part of the pop video was filmed in a muddy barley field near Bangor, County Down.

Rihanna stripped to a bikini after removing a long checked dress.

Traffic practically ground to a halt near Ballyrobert as drivers strained to get a glimpse of the singer and her cavalcade.

But the sight became too much for the landowner Alan Graham's Christian beliefs and he politely asked the filming to stop.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Rihanna attracted a lot of attention while filming her video in this County Down field
Image copyright AP
Image caption The Barbadian first came to prominence in her homeland and the United States before achieving worldwide fame with her 2007 hit, Umbrella

Volunteers who have planned the Sow Wild New Lodge Community Garden this summer will redevelop a unused and overgrown communal space in the area.

Gerard Rosato, who is helping to run the project, said: "People are conscious that this area is a bit of a concrete jungle.

"North Belfast is very densely built up, there is a housing shortage and nearly anything that can be built on has been built on.

"Any areas which can be transformed like this should be well looked after.

"My hope is that when this is a success we can get other, similar schemes off the ground and continue to spruce up the area."

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