Last week Amanda Milling MP, Cannock Chase Council, Forest Hills Primary School and John Bamford Primary School, took part in the Sakura Cherry Tree Project, with the planting of 16 trees on green space off Joseph Dix Drive in Rugeley.
Local school children were invited to have a go at being landscape architects and design how they would set the trees out. One design from 9 year old Poppy from John Bamford Primary School was so impressive at creating a space for a Hanami party it was chosen as the winning design. Hanami, translates to ‘flower viewing’, cultural events are held each spring in Japan where friends and family gather to socialise under the trees as they are in blossom.
Amanda Milling Mp said "“I was delighted to join pupils from the Forest Hills school and the John Bamford school to plant the beautiful Sakura cherry trees. It is fantastic seeing pupils from Rugeley taking part in a nationwide project to plant thousands of Sakura trees across the UK, a project which looks to celebrate the friendship between the UK and Japan. Thanks to these pupils, Rugeley is now the latest location in the UK to be part of this nationwide project. I am sure these trees will bring real colour to this plot of land when they blossom each year.”
Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald Portfolio Leader for Housing Heritage and Leisure said “I would like to thank everyone involved in this amazing project. The trees planted in Rugeley will contribute to the Council’s target of improving the tree canopy cover to 14% of the District. They will also provide biodiversity benefits, improve air quality and the aesthetics of the urban green space in Cannock Chase.”
The 16 trees being planted at the site are some of the over 6,000 Japanese cherry trees, or Sakura in Japanese given to the UK by Japan, and have been distributed to over 200 sites and planted across the country in parks, gardens and schools to celebrate Japan’s relationship with the UK.
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.