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The National Trust launches its Blossom Watch to emulate Japan’s Hanami

The National Trust is encouraging people to celebrate blossom as it bursts into life on trees across the county.

The conservation charity had planned to launch #BlossomWatch as part of its 125th anniversary this year, and believes it is even more important as we treasure our scarce trips outdoors and need nature to boost our spirits during the coronavirus outbreak.

Blossom is about to burst into bloom Picture: Rob Coleman/National Trust
Blossom is about to burst into bloom Picture: Rob Coleman/National Trust

The charity hopes #BlossomWatch will become an annual moment of celebration in nature’s calendar and wants to encourage people to enjoy blooming trees they can see from their windows or in their gardens and share their best images.

The move is part of the trust’s campaign to help people of all ages to become more connected with everyday nature.

The charity said that blossom sweeping the country is one of nature’s key moments that could help lift the spirits during these uncertain times and enable people to celebrate nature and history together.

It follows the launch of the trust’s Noticing Nature report last month, which found that for people to do more to protect nature, they need to have a closer everyday connection to it.

Only 6% of adults and 7% of children celebrate natural events such as the first day of spring, solstice or harvest, according to the trust’s recent research.

Blossom is coming out across Kent Picture: National Trust/Daniel Smith
Blossom is coming out across Kent Picture: National Trust/Daniel Smith

Andy Beer, nature expert at the trust said: “It’s really easy to take this moment in nature for granted. Celebrating blossom is a pivotal, seasonal moment that can often be all too fleeting and we want to do all we can to help people and families at home to enjoy and take stock of a special moment in the calendar.

“At a time when people are being asked not to travel, blossom trees can be seen on city streets, in gardens and in public parks. There are many spectacular orchards across the nation – including those owned by the National Trust – but the awesome spectacle of blossom is on display in the neighbourhoods of many lucky people.

“We’re asking them to take pictures of the blossom as it blooms and share the joy with others who can’t see blossom for themselves right now.

“It’s a moment many can enjoy by simply looking at trees in their garden, seeing it through windows, or on city streets when taking the permitted daily walk, cycle or run."

Crab apple blossom Picture: National Trust
Crab apple blossom Picture: National Trust

They also want to emulate Hanami, a big event in the Japanese calendar, associated with celebrating the arrival of spring, similar to Easter in our culture which is centred around flowering cherry trees, Sakura.

To share your pictures tag the trust in your images via @nationaltrust on Instagram and Twitter using #BlossomWatch and including where you live.

The trust has had to close its houses, gardens and many open spaces, including at Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst; Sissinghurst Castle; Chartwell and Emmetts Garden near Sevenoaks; Smallhythe Place in Tenterden due to concerns about the amount of space there would be for social distancing.

To find out more go to nationaltrust.org.uk

For the latest on Kent's events and centres in the current climate click here.

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