James Sunderland is supporting the National Trust’s efforts to emulate Japan’s Hanami – the ancient tradition of viewing and celebrating blossom - with its #BlossomWatch campaign.
With this spring likely to be the most anticipated ever as the UK slowly eamerges from lockdown, the National Trust and James Sunderland are inviting people to share the joy and hope that the sight of blush-tinted blooms will bring to help lift spirits and enable everyone to celebrate nature together.
The conservation charity launched #BlossomWatch last year when the country had just entered lockdown. Thousands of people captured and shared images of trees in bloom across social media platforms, which received four million views in the first two weeks.
A growing body of evidence suggests that time spent daily connecting with nature is vital to human wellbeing, so James is urging people to ‘turn social media pink, white and green’ over the coming weeks, to mark one of ‘nature’s greatest spectacles’.
James said: “I know many of my constituents have enjoyed exercising in nature and found it a real boost to their wellbeing during lockdown, so I hope people will continue to get outdoors and enjoy the simple pleasures of nature as the country slowly makes a return to normality.”
The National Trust’s Head of Nature Conservation and Restoration Ecology, Ben McCarthy says: “Blossom in all its guises can bring a particular sense of joy as we emerge from winter. Clocking these bursts of colour as they unfurl across our neighbourhoods as a signal of the start of spring is truly joyful.
“Whilst spring blossom may signal the fruit to come to gardeners, for many species it kicks off a new cycle. The buff tailed bumblebee for example is a common garden visitor and the queens coincide their emergence from hibernation with the arrival of the cherry plum blossoms and other early flowering species to replenish their energy levels before setting off to establish a new nest.
“Our flowering trees and shrubs blossom to advertise the pollen and nectar that awaits visiting pollinators. The blossoming sequence of willow and blackthorn from the end of February through to apple and hawthorn into May are crucial for many of our wild bees that coincide their emergence with a preferred blossom period.
“With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on millions across the country – many have found noticing nature a vital way of enhancing their wellbeing and have discovered the many benefits of spending time in nature and noticing its natural rhythms as the year unfolds.
“So we urge everyone to get outdoors, safely enjoy the blossom where they live, and share their experiences with others.”