Japan friendship blossoms with 100 cherry trees for Derby and Derbyshire

Published: 24 July 2019

Council House at night

Japan’s friendship with the UK is set to be celebrated in Derbyshire with the planting of 100 cherry trees

Japan’s friendship with the UK is set to be celebrated in Derbyshire with the planting of 100 cherry trees across the county next year.

Derbyshire County Council bid for the trees through the Sakura Cherry Tree Project as part of its Toyota City Partnership alongside Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council.

Last year, all three councils celebrated their 20-year twinning partnership with Toyota City in Japan.

The trees will arrive in Derbyshire from November 2020 and will be planted across Bass’s Recreation Ground in Derby, Shipley Country Park and in Swadlincote adjacent to the National Forest.

More than 5,000 cherry trees will be planted in parks and public spaces nationwide from autumn 2020 through The Sakura Cherry Tree Project to mark the friendship between Japan and the UK. It coincides with the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020.

Leader of Derby City Council, Councillor Chris Poulter, said:

Cherry Blossoms are so important in Japanese culture and it’s fantastic that they will signify Derby’s commitment to Toyota City and Japan. The trees are a wonderful addition for the city and will be a fitting tribute to commemorate our friendship with each other for years to come.

The trees are being funded through donations from the Japanese private sector.

Schools across Derbyshire were also invited to apply for their own cherry tree and more than 50 were successful across the county including the county council’s Virtual School and Lea Green Learning and Development Centre. The trees will also arrive in Derbyshire from November 2020.

Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis, said:

We’re delighted our joint application for 100 cherry trees in Derbyshire has been accepted. As well as being great for the environment, the trees will be a permanent reminder of the strong relationship we’ve built with our friends in Japan and our ongoing commitment to work together to improve our educational, cultural, environmental, economic and sporting links.

Councillor Martyn Ford, Leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said:

We welcome the news that our application for the trees has been successful. They will make a very attractive addition to the environment. They will also serve as a fitting reminder of the relationship with Japan and, for South Derbyshire, with Toyota City in particular, that continues to grow and flourish.

The Japan-UK Season of Culture, with activity in both Japan and the UK, celebrates the friendship of the two countries, and will provide an opportunity for people in both countries to explore each other’s cultures and technologies between the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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