Coventry is the latest city to confirm plans for a new blossom garden as part of an ambition to create hundreds of blossom spaces in urban areas across England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the next five years.
The National Trust and its partners also hope to create a UK-equivalent of Japan’s world-famous Hanami (blossom viewing).
The new blossom garden in Charterhouse Heritage Park will mark Coventry’s tenure as City of Culture. And, today, the locations and plans for blossom plantings in Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth, first announced in February, have also been revealed.
The National Trust has also confirmed 46 new blossom projects which will be planted on the land in its care across the country over the next few months.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, CJ Wildlife and the National Trust, projects include: creating new orchards at Stourhead in Wiltshire and Antony in Cornwall; the creation of a new edible forest of fruit and nut trees circled with blossoming hedgerows at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire; a new avenue of flowering cherry trees at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire; new blossoming trees to encourage people to explore different areas of the estate at Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell in Kent; 750 blossoming trees in the South Lakes to become the next generation of blossom trees in the area; replacing lost trees in the orchard at Crom in Northern Ireland and planting new blossom trees across the Gower and Brecon Beacons in Wales.
All plantings will help towards the Trust’s ambitions to plant and establish 20 million trees by 2030 to help in the fight against climate change and to create more homes for nature. They will also help in its aim to help tackle unequal access to green space across Britain and build on the importance given to green spaces and nature during lockdown when thousands found time spent in nature beneficial not just for their physical health but mental wellbeing too.
Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust said:
In Coventry, the trees will be planted in the newly-created 70 acre Charterhouse Heritage Park. Members of the local community will be asked to share their thoughts on where the blossom garden should be located, its design and uses for the space.
Lucy Reid, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations for the Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Historic Coventry Trust (HCT) to create what will be a special place for local people to spend time, reflect and connect with nature.
Ian Harrabin, Chairman, Historic Coventry Trust, said:
In Newcastle, Urban Green Newcastle, working in partnership with the City Council and the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, will plant 26 ancient varieties of cherry blossom tree, Prunus ‘Tai-Haku’ trees – at Exhibition Park, an area on the outskirts of the city close to the University and the hospital.
The plans are for a double avenue ‘swirl’ of blossom trees by the lake with a circular pathway.
Barbara Hooper, Director, Parks & Allotments at Urban Green Newcastle says:
The sites in Nottingham will be planted at Lenton Recreation Ground, a popular and historic site 30 minutes from the city centre and St Mary’s Rest Garden on the edge of the city adjacent to the popular Victoria park.
At Lenton recreation ground, 28 ornamental mature cherry trees will be planted along a new path through the park to give the area a new focal point.
Cllr Rosemary Healey, Lead Councillor for Parks and Open Spaces at Nottingham City Council says:
Twenty ornamental, semi-mature cherry trees will be planted in an avenue style at St Mary’s Rest Garden on the edge of the city centre, adjacent to the much-visited Victoria park.
Cllr Healey continues:
The Plymouth site will be located on the coast at Devil’s Point, overlooking Plymouth Sound on the south-west coastal footpath which also has local significance due to being the place where families coming to wave off members going to sea on naval operations.
The trees will be planted in a semicircle design and will be used to highlight the blossoming meadows below the waves in the seagrass beds just offshore.
Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “We are delighted to be a part of the blossom project which will create a people space for hope and reflection as we move forward from the pandemic.
Funding for the projects in Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth has come in part from People’s Postcode Lottery.
Laura Chow, Head of Charities said:
For more information on the blossom projects visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blossom-together, or to make a donation to the charity’s tree planting ambitions visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/plant-a-tree