The Sakura Cherry Tree Project has launched!

A tree planting ceremony in Regent’s Park today marked the launch of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project which will plant 6,500 trees across the UK by the end of 2021.

The trees have been paid for by Japanese individuals and businesses and are intended as a symbol of the lasting friendship between Japan and the UK. 125 trees will be planted in the Royal Parks in London.

The planting ceremony was attended by the new Japanese ambassador to the UK, Yasumasa Nagamine (he only got here yesterday and this was his first duty) and the Duke of Gloucester.

The founder and joint chairman of the project, Keisaku Sandy Sano helped with the planting, along with children from Robinsfield Infant School.

There was a reception in the marquee afterwards with mercifully short speeches. Children from George Eliot Primary School sang a traditional Japanese song about cherry blossom.

There will be three varieties of trees planted – Beni-yutaka, Taihaku and Somei-yoshino. The trees planted today should flower in early April. I’ll keep you posted!