Last week the National Trust and Historic Coventry Trust announced plans to create a blossom garden in the city’s newly created Charterhouse Heritage Park.
The initiative is part of the National Trust’s pledge to plant blossom trees in cities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the next five years.
Coventry is the latest city to support the ambition to connect more people to nature and create spaces for hope and reflection through blossom. The first blossom garden was created in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, with blossom-inspired spaces also being created in Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth.
The project taps into cultural links to spring blossom, and the National Trust’s drive to create a British equivalent of Japan’s ‘Hanami’ – the popular custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers.
The announcement is part of Coventry City of Culture and Heritage Open Days activity where Historic Coventry Trust is hosting a series of events to celebrate the city’s heritage.
Alongside the announcement, Historic Coventry Trust is launching a public consultation for members of the local community to share their thoughts on where in the park the blossom garden should be located, its design and how the space will be used in the future. During this weekend’s Heritage Open Days Charterhouse Weekender activity there will be an information stand outside the medieval Charterhouse where volunteers from Historic Coventry Trust and the National Trust will be on hand to talk through the plans and capture visitors’ ideas and thoughts.
Historic Coventry Trust, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an entrepreneurial heritage development trust which aims to bring new life to the city’s heritage, finding innovative ways to sustain historic places and to inspire, involve and connect people with the city’s history. Over the past two years the National Trust has been working with Historic Coventry Trust to support the opening of Charterhouse, a Grade I listed 14th-century Carthusian Monastery, which has been under major restoration thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £4.3 million.
Ian Harrabin, Chair of Historic Coventry Trust, said: “The landscape around Charterhouse has been important to the citizens of Coventry for many years, and the local community have come together to make sure that this space is an oasis for wildlife and people, and an area of calm and tranquillity on the edge of the bustling city.
“Historic Coventry Trust has been working in close partnership with the National Trust at Charterhouse over the last few years, and we are excited to work with them to develop this blossom garden to allow all to escape, refresh and reconnect with nature for many years to come.”
After a period of working with local people and partners to choose the best type of blossom trees and the best location, the trees will be planted during 2022 in the city’s new Charterhouse Heritage Park. The Park is a 70-acre site where land is being regenerated by Historic Coventry Trust to provide an important resource for community health and economic wellbeing on the edge of Coventry City Centre.
Last spring, many recognised the importance of access to nature during lockdown when so many found time in nature beneficial not just for their physical health but mental wellbeing too.
Thousands shared striking images of spring blossom to help lift people’s spirits with the charity’s first ever #BlossomWatch campaign in March 2020. Support for the campaign was repeated this spring and the National Trust hopes to embed an annual marking of the Spring blossom season, emulating Japan’s hanami, which brings all generations outdoors, boosting tourism and helping people connect with nature.
The annually blossoming trees are part of the National Trust’s commitment to plant 20 million trees during the next decade, as part of its work to tackle the climate crisis.