Telford Town Park is supporting The Sakura Cherry Tree Project

Planting at Telford Town Park. Over 6,000 Cherry Trees Given to Towns, Villages, Parks and Schools across the UK

On Tuesday 16 November Councillor Healy, Friends of Telford Town Park, and pupils from South Hall School will be taking part in a tree planting ceremony at 1:30pm in Telford Town Park.

The 83 trees are being planted at Telford Town Park are some of the over 6,000 Japanese cherry trees – or Sakura in Japanese – given to the UK by Japan, and planted across the country in parks, gardens and schools to celebrate Japan’s relationship with the UK. 

Councillor Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment said “I feel honoured that Telford Town Park was selected as a location as part of The Sakura Cherry Tree Project between Japan and the UK. We have been gifted with 83 trees that will develop and grow into a stunning display of blossom in Telford Town Park and become an enduring legacy of the relationship between Japan and the UK.  The people of Telford can watch these wonderful trees develop, grow and blossom for many years to come.”

The Friends of Telford Town Park (FOTTP) added “The FOTTP are delighted to see the arrival of the Cherry trees as part of the Sakura Project. Once established and in blossom they will provide beautiful spring colour and summer shade throughout the play areas. The planting is an extension of the Cherry collection to be found in the Maxell Cherry Gardens and will hopefully be included in any future Sakura Festivals the first of which was successfully organised by the FOTTP in 2018 as part of the Telford 50 celebrations”

The project will be a legacy from the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2021, which aims to showcase Japan’s multifaceted attractions in the UK. The Season provides the opportunity to learn more about Japan, its culture and people through hundreds of events ranging from arts, sports, cuisine and performance.  Once the Season ends, members of the public will start to witness the 1000s of cherry trees blossom in spring 2022 and beyond. 

The Sakura Cherry Trees will be distributed to over 200 sites in all four countries of the UK from St Ives to Aberdeen to Londonderry, Cardiff and several of London’s biggest parks. The project was formally launched with a planting ceremony at Regent’s Park attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, the then Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine, Joint Chairman of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project Keisaku Sandy Sano and local schoolchildren in 2019.

All of the varieties of cherry trees to be planted as part of this project are of Japanese origin.  The vast majority will be of three varieties, ‘Beni-yutaka’, ‘Taihaku’, and ‘Somei-yoshino’, which have been chosen for their variation in colour, timing, and historical significance. For example, ‘Taihaku’ is a large, single white blossom variety, which became extinct in Japan but was reintroduced to its homeland by Britain’s Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram in 1932.

Most of the over 6,000 trees will be planted across the UK in 2021, 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 certificates.  This permanent and lasting symbol of the enduring friendship between the UK and Japan is entirely funded by Japanese businesses and individuals and managed by the Sakura Cherry Tree Project team. 

The Duke of Gloucester is patron of the Japan Society which aims to improve understanding of the cultures, societies and businesses of Japan and the UK.

The Duke of Gloucester said, “What better way to commemorate the long standing friendship between the people of the United Kingdom and Japan, than the planting of Japanese cherry trees that will live on for future generations to enjoy.  I would like to congratulate all of those involved to make possible such a worthwhile project.”

Yasumasa Nagamine, Japanese Ambassador to the UK(November 2019-January 2021) 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.“

Keisaku Sandy Sano, Founder and Joint Chairman of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project Team said “The response we have had from all across the UK, from Guernsey in the south to the Orkneys in the north, from parks and schools across the UK has been amazing.  It is testament to the strong relationship between the two countries, and we hope the trees will be a lasting tribute to that.”

Takashi Tsukamoto, Joint Chairman of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project Team said, “Many Japanese corporations have decided to, through the Japan-British Society, generously donate to this project to celebrate a long friendship between our two nations. I am deeply grateful for all the efforts and support given by people and corporations both in Japan and UK to this project.” 

About the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2021

The Japan-UK Season of Culture will unfold in 2019 to 2021, when Japan hosts two sporting landmarks: the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.  It seeks to build on the British people’s keen interest in these events by showcasing Japan’s multifaceted attractions. 

About the Japan-British Society, Tokyo

The Japan-British Society was founded in 1908 to encourage the study of all things British and to promote cordial relations between the peoples of the United Kingdom and Japan. Today this thriving body has over 1,700 members and is supported by some 80 Japanese and British companies. It provides an important and attractive forum within which members of both nationalities can meet on an informal and friendly basis, with an interest in all things British as the common denominator.  The Society offers British members an unrivalled opportunity to find out more about Japan and the Japanese, and the many activities allow frequent social contact.