The UK has been gifted 6,500 sakura trees by Japan as part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project. The project will see the planting of the trees across the UK’s parks, gardens and schools to celebrate Japan’s relationship with the UK. The sakura cherry trees will be distributed to 400 schools and 160 sites across the UK. The first trees were planted at a ceremony at The Regents park in London.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and Japanese Ambassador to the UK Yasumasa Nagamine, as well as the Founder and Joint Chairman of Sakura Cherry Tree Project Keisaku Sandy Sano were joined by school children for the planting.
Most of the 6,500 trees will be planted across the UK in autumn 2020, following the planting of 125 trees in The Royal Parks in autumn 2019. Frank P Matthews nursery in Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire is the main supplier of the trees. The renowned Japanese artist, Kenya Hara has provided the design of the commemorative plaques.
Yasumasa Nagamine, Japanese Ambassador to the UK said:
“We hope that people all over Britain will join with us in embracing this chance to deepen mutual understanding, thus helping to create an enduring legacy. Yet the Sakura Cherry Tree Project will not just represent the lasting impact of the Japan-UK season of culture but will be a wider celebration of the cordial ties between Japan and the UK. Just like our relationship, these trees will grow stronger as they mature and, each year when they blossom, I hope they bring joy to people across the UK and remind them of the deep friendship between our two nations and peoples. “
Nick Biddle, Park Manager of The Regent’s Park, The Royal Parks, said:
“This wonderful gift of cherry blossoms will further enrich this historic park, providing beautiful blossoms in spring and sensational colour in autumn, so that generations to come can enjoy the natural beauty of these very special trees which embody our love of nature and our friendship with Japan.”