Helping communities blossom

Blossom circles will be planted in cities so more people can connect to nature

We're working with partners to give communities more access to nature through the creation of green spaces and circles of blossom trees.

We hope these natural places will give people space for hope and reflection as we move forward from the pandemic and the chance to celebrate the beauty of spring year after year.

During the next five years, we'll be helping to plant circles of blossom trees in cities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We know that nature has been hugely comforting to many of you during the pandemic. Last year, the sight of spring blossom, beautiful but fleeting, brought pleasure and reassurance, reminding us that the rhythm of the natural world continued even though all other aspects of our lives had changed.

But we also know that too few people can connect to nature near where they live. The project will create beautiful spaces for communities to come together and experience the natural world. What's more, every tree planted will help us meet our commitment to plant 20 million trees during the next decade, which is part of our work to tackle the climate crisis.

Helping cities to blossom

The first blossom circles will be created in east London, an area that has seen some of the worst impacts of the pandemic. Blossom-inspired spaces will also be created in Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth. Watch this space for further updates on planting projects taking place in other cities. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady open up London's Blossom Garden alongside key workers

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

The first of the Blossom Gardens was opened at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on 24 May 2021. It features a total of 33 trees, including cherry, plum, hawthorn and crab apple, representing the city's 32 boroughs and the City of London.

The garden was opened in a ceremony by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who was joined by Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, and representatives from key worker communities such as the NHS, Transport for London and other frontline roles.

Local communities have been involved in the creation of the site, which commemorates the lives lost from coronavirus and honours the key workers. The London Blossom Garden has been created in partnership with the Mayor of London with support from Bloomberg, working with Rosetta Arts and landscape architects The Edible Bus Stop and Davies White Landscape Architects.

" Our vision is for nature, beauty and history for everyone. Our simple ambition with this project is to bring all of these elements together in the creation of green, nature-rich havens in the very heart of urban areas that are also beautiful and inspiring spaces people can use. "
- Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust
Pink apple blossom

Blossom became a symbol of hope 

Blossom is one of the first signs that spring is well and truly on the way, and it was a welcome sight last March as the pandemic took hold. Many of you took part in #BlossomWatch, which we launched to encourage people to share images of blossom across the country. These pictures sparked joy for many, especially those unable to get to green spaces where the trees were in bloom. From the pinker hues to the cloudy white, these delicate blossoms were a joyful sight and a reminder that warmer days were on their way. Find out how you can get involved this year.

Apple blossom in the orchard at Smallhythe Place

Research shows a need for green space 

We commissioned a report that showed more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people agreed that noticing the nature around them had made them feel happy during lockdown. But the research, conducted by Vivid Economics, also highlighted inequalities in access to the natural world, categorising 295 deprived neighbourhoods of 440,000 people as ‘grey deserts’, with no trees or accessible green space. Find out more about what we're doing to ensure more people can enjoy nature closer to home.

Cherry blossom growing at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Blossom Together toolkit 

We’ve produced a toolkit for any group or organisation who wants to take part in Blossom Together. You’ll find advice and ideas for planting trees as well as engaging people and your community with blossom and helping people to connect with nature wherever they are.