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The National Trust’s #BlossomWatch encourages people to savour spring’s blossom displays





As the country emerges from a long, wet winter, people are being encouraged to pause, sit back and savour one of nature’s most special spectacles – blossom season.

Now in its fifth year, the Hanami-inspired celebrations promoted by The National Trust urge the public to immerse themselves and their senses in nature as it wakes from its slumber.

There had been signs a mild winter would lead to an early spring. Image: istock/bannerwega.
There had been signs a mild winter would lead to an early spring. Image: istock/bannerwega.

In Japan, Hanami - which literally means 'flower viewing' - happens every spring between late March and May.

People gather in numbers for food, drink, socialising and song to marvel at the beauty of sakura - or flowering cherry blossoms - while even the likes of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo opens its doors to visitors who wish to marvel at its displays.

While back in the UK, there had been warnings that the sights and smells of this year’s blossom season could appear earlier than normal, the Trust says cooler temperatures and continued rainfall in late March has ‘allowed nature to slow down’ and catch up with itself in many places.

In Japan, celebrations take place throughout blossom season. Image: iStock.
In Japan, celebrations take place throughout blossom season. Image: iStock.

Pamela Smith, National Gardens consultant for the National Trust explained: “This winter, we encountered unseasonably warm temperatures, and there is no denying that effects of climate change are getting more noticeable year on year.

“However, thanks to the more recent cold snaps, this rapid progress has slowed down somewhat, and in some places the blooming of blossom has almost fallen back into a familiar rhythm.”

The National Trust, which has long campaigned to return blossoming trees to our landscapes in order to create a UK-equivalent of Hanami, is once again encouraging the public to share on social media pictures of blossom discoveries where they live using the hashtag #Blossomwatch.

The National Trust says a damp March has allowed nature to slow down. Image: iStock.
The National Trust says a damp March has allowed nature to slow down. Image: iStock.

An official ‘Blossom Week is taking place from April 20, while to further connect Britons to blossom, the organisation will also host over 120 events at its sites between now and May, ranging from Tai Chi in orchards to blossom bathing in hammocks. To find events nearest to you click here.

However the conservation charity is clear that enjoying the somewhat short-lived spring spectacles can and should take place anywhere and is simply centred around celebrating the ‘feel-good’ signs of the new season.

Andy Jasper, head of gardens and parklands at the National Trust added: “While mother nature works to her own timescale, now is the perfect time for us to sit back and really take in the signs of new life popping up in the landscape, whether that is at National Trust places, public parks in cities or even our own backyards, and indulge in the joy of nature waking up from its slumber, with the people around us.”



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