National Trust encourages people to celebrate spring with UK’s first ever #BlossomWatch day

Press release
BW Day
Published : 25 Apr 2021

The National Trust is urging people to use the longer warmer days of spring and come together on social media to share their pictures as part of the charity’s first ever nationwide #BlossomWatch Day.

As restrictions ease and loved ones can finally start to meet outside, the conservation charity is urging people to use the easing of restrictions to share in one of nature’s most magnificent natural spectacles.

The charity is asking people simply to meet loved ones or sit quietly alone under or near a blossoming tree, take notice and perhaps share images on social media.
 
The recent topsy turvy weather – with plunging temperatures of up to minus five at night and some areas experiencing snowfall – has given this year’s blossom an uncertain start but it is expected to reach its peak in the coming days and weeks.   

With the current spell of warmer sunnier weather putting spring back on track, people are being asked to share pictures of blossom on social media on April 24 using the #BlossomWatch.
 
And by tagging their location, an interactive digital map (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blossom-watch) will chart the progress of blossom across the country. 

Annie Reilly, Blossom Programme Manager at the National Trust says: “Our Blossom campaign has got off to a flying start with more than five and a half million views on social media. As the next step in emulating Japan’s Hanami – we want to encourage more people to fully immerse themselves in the joy of blossom as it reaches its peak.

“There has been a lot of research into the connection between enjoying moments in nature and feelings of wellbeing, and with social distancing measures having eased slightly, meeting a handful of family or friends under a blossom tree could be the ideal way to lift spirits and re-connect with people. We want to embed this tradition for the future, and if ever there was a year to appreciate the joy and comfort of nature, surely 2021 is it.

“What we’re proposing is a simple activity for all ages to enjoy – grandparents and grandchildren can finally meet up outdoors and make some new memories together to celebrate not only this time in nature’s calendar, but also the easing of lockdown restrictions.”

Blossom season and the lifecycle it signifies is looked-for in many countries as a harbinger of nature’s progress and this year blossom season in Japan came early. 

This year’s weather in the UK has affected the blossom, particularly for magnolias which have been affected by this spring’s low overnight temperatures.

Simon Toomer, plant specialist at the National Trust said: “Magnolias were particularly affected, with their delicate petals experiencing frost damage, and therefore falling off trees early, due to the low overnight temperatures – highlighting the need to enjoy the fleeting beauty of the blossom season.  

“However, temperatures will undoubtedly rise over the next week or two and this will bring on the cherry blossom followed closely by apples, pears and other fruit in gardens and orchards. We will also see insect pollinators increasing in number to ensure those flowers develop into fruit for a bountiful harvest”

The conservation charity’s #BlossomWatch campaign which officially launched on 18 March has already seen double the engagement it had in its pilot year with over 32,000 posts across social media channels including twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

And, the campaign has already had over 5.5 million views (reach and impressions) from the beginning of March, a million more than this time last year.

Sarah Faulkner, 41, from Stourbridge in the West Midlands, said: “I love every season we’re so lucky to get here in Great Britain and all the beautiful flowers and wildlife we get along with them.

“I particularly love spring with it’s beautiful blossom, which really lifts my spirits.  A million tiny petals in beautiful colours from pure white to pastel pink, right through to bright yellow and orange. 

“The delicate scent in clean, crisp air fills me with hope for the year to come.  Busy little bees buzzing around with excitement really make me smile. It reminds me of long country walks with my Dad when I was younger, he’d point out every bug and flower to me so I didn’t miss a thing, that curiosity has stayed with me throughout my life.

“I love sharing my pictures; particularly so relatives in Spain and America can see them, they love the blossom and spring flowers this time of year and miss it so much.”

The blossom bug also seems to have been caught by some celebrities with Lauren Laverne, Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker all joining in #BlossomWatch on social media.

Also, as part of the campaign and the charity’s commitment to plant blossom trees in urban areas, 45 Members of Parliament have pledged to plant a tree in their constituency this coming autumn to bring the joy of blossom to more people.

To get involved and to share images of any blossom in bloom this weekend, simply share images using #BlossomWatch.

For further information, inspiration and to donate towards the charity’s tree planting ambitions visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blossom-watch

Notes to picture editors:

Images of blossom at National Trust places and user generated images from this year’s #BlossomWatch campaign to accompany this story can be found in the link below.  Please credit as indicated.

https://nationaltrustonline.sharepoint.com/:f:/s/MediaAssets/EnOI9KWJfgFBverSrgAnao0BV3VwobUaoKL-dcK9qBHe4w?e=j9ppLG

B-roll

Broadcast quality b-roll footage of blossom can be downloaded from the links below:

2021 footage:
https://wetransfer.com/downloads/b26ab2215e48abab8a11ee51abf043c620210421093433/1a00e89220475ad0dda9946628aec72320210421093433/506dc9 

Pre 2020 footage: 
https://wetransfer.com/downloads/03dab13a508ca1aa25f615285658a5d520210421113033/fead431c3b341ebcce8c3cc302fa3aad20210421113033/5e6977