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.

Blossom projects at our places

Along with helping cities to blossom, over the next few months 46 new blossom projects will be getting underway at National Trust places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, CJ Wildlife and the National Trust.

Helping cities to blossom

With the first blossom circles being created in east London – an area that has seen some of the worst impacts of the pandemic – earlier this year, further blossom-inspired spaces will be following in London's footsteps. A new blossom garden has been announced for Coventry as a City of Culture legacy, and Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth, have confirmed their location and design ideas, funded in part by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. 

The majority of the new blossom gardens will be planted this autumn and will open in spring 2022.

The pop-up garden on Edgbaston Street in Birmingham

Blossom in Birmingham 

As part of Birmingham 2022 Festival we've created an oasis of trees in the heart of the city’s Smithfield Festival Site. More than 70 young trees with colourful seating, hammocks and badminton kits are providing a place for visitors to notice nature, relax and play. When the installation is over, the blossoming trees, along with a further 500, will be planted to create a symbolic 'ring of blossom' around the city.

An artist's impression of the new blossom circle in Albert Park in Middlesbrough

Albert Park, Middlesbrough

We're working with Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) to plant 65 new cherry blossom trees in Albert Park. Once it's established, residents can use the new blossom area as a space for peace and reflection. We'll also plant 500 saplings in urban green spaces across Middlesbrough, which will bloom for the first time next spring.

Design concept for Lenton Recreation Park, Nottingham

Lenton Recreation Ground and St Mary’s Rest, Nottingham

Plans are in place to plant new blossom trees at Lenton Recreation Ground in Nottingham. These form part of the city's ambitions to plant 50,000 trees over two years and will help it meet its target to be carbon neutral by 2028. There are also plans to plant 28 cherry trees near the Queens Medical Centre campus and to improve access. At St Mary's Rest, an avenue of 20 new cherry trees will create a peaceful sanctuary away from the city.

Charterhouse Heritage Park, Coventry

Heritage Park, Coventry

New blossom trees will feature at Charterhouse Heritage Park in Coventry to mark its tenure as City of Culture. We're working with Historic Coventry Trust (HCT), Coventry City Council and the local community to create the blossom garden. Regenerated by HCT, the area will help sustain local wildlife and provide an important community space on the edge of the city centre.

Artist impression of the proposed planting at Exhibition Park, Newcastle

Exhibition Park, Newcastle

We're helping to plant a double avenue of blossom in Exhibition Park, Newcastle, including 26 ancient varieties of the cherry blossom tree Prunus 'Tai-Haku'. This will be planted near the University of Newcastle and Royal Victoria Infirmary. The project, delivered by the National Trust, Urban Green Newcastle, Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, will involve NHS staff and the local community.

Blossom trees will be planted at Devil's Point, Plymouth

Devil's Point, Plymouth

A semi-circle of blossom will be planted at Plymouth’s Devil’s Point, a place on the South West Coast Path where people wave off family members heading out to sea on naval operations. Native wildflowers will feature, along with hardy tree species such as blackthorn that will attract insects and birds. More ornamental trees will provide a colourful framing for Plymouth Sound, which is England's first National Marine Park.

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.