Alnwick to receive 176 cherry trees as part of project strengthening links between UK and Japan

Alnwick’s ties with Japan are set to be further strengthened over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 7:00 am

The town is to receive 176 cherry trees – half as many as at The Alnwick Garden - in the continuation of a project celebrating friendship between the UK and Japan.

Suitable sites for them now need to be identified.

Tim Kirton, Alnwick Town Council projects officer, said: “We do have a planting plan which we have agreed with the Japanese Embassy but we are getting far more trees than we asked for so we will need some additional locations.

Cherry trees at The Alnwick Garden.

"They will be delivered between now and March of next year. Bearing in mind this is an enormous number of trees, I had a chat with Mark Brassell at The Alnwick Garden who has offered storage space if we require it.

"They will feed them and look after them and such like until we are in a position to put them in.”

Cllr John Humphries said Alnwick in Bloom would be interested in helping to choose locations, while Cllr Martin Harrington suggested that it was a good opportunity to get input from local residents.

Mr Kirton responded: “Alnwick in Bloom was fully consulted on this when it was first raised nearly two years ago when the Japanese Embassy wrote to (former mayor) Alan Symmonds.

"Obviously there’s been a long gap between applying for them, getting approval and now getting the trees delivered but we will consult again on this.

"The Japanese Embassy are keen on having concentrations of the cherry trees. That said, it would be good if we could have them strategically placed, in schools for example.

"I am hoping to have the Japanese Ambassador come over to do some planting when Covid is over.”

Last year, Japanese Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka and his wife visited The Alnwick Garden, where they attended the 10th annual Cherry Blossom Dedication Ceremony.

The visit tied in with a project to plant thousands of cherry trees, donated by Japanese businesses, across the UK.

In September 2017, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe announced that 2019 and 2020 would mark the Japan-UK Season of Culture between the Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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