BGS news

Positively blooming: Japanese flowering cherry trees planted at BGS Keyworth to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee

The walkway of eight trees has been planted in the grounds of BGS headquarters in Keyworth to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne.

31/05/2022 By BGS Press
Two white women are looking at a small cherry tree sapling held up by the woman on the left
Melanie Leng and BGS Director Karen Hanghøj with one of the new Amanogawa cherry trees at BGS Keyworth. BGS © UKRI.

A walkway of eight Japanese Amanogawa pink flowering cherry trees, chosen for their colourful ornamental blooms, has been planted in the grounds of BGS in Keyworth, in celebration of the Queen’s platinum jubilee. The walkway has been created as part of a project called the Queen’s Green Canopy, a nationwide campaign to encourage people to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’.

A special bench and plaque will be installed near the trees to mark the celebrations in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the throne.

The Japanese Amanogawa pink flowering cherry is well known for its beautiful and delicate flower display in May and June. The young leaves are a greenish-bronze and, around autumn, they develop a red, orange or yellow tinge. In the years to come, they will develop into spectacular trees and will be a fitting tribute to the Queen’s legacy as the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee.

A large tree covered in pink flowers
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A mature Japanese cherry tree in full bloom. Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay.

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The flowers of the Amanogawa (like all plants) contain pollen and nectar, which is used by insects such as bees, butterflies and beetles, as well as small birds. It is hoped that, as the trees mature, they will create a safe and relaxing natural canopy for wildlife, employees and visitors to the site.

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The walkway will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future.

BGS Chief Scientist for Environmental Change, Adaptation and Resilience, Melanie Leng.

The planting of the walkway furthers BGS’s development of its sustainability strategy, designed to help BGS reduce its environmental impact through a series of commitments across its estates, travel and working practices, whilst staying at the cutting edge of research.

A stack of wood stuffed with sticks, rocks, bricks, dried grass and generally bug-friendly hiding places
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The Grand Bug Hotel at Keyworth. © Melanie Leng.

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In recent months, BGS has joined forces with local community volunteers to develop the Mary Ward Nature Area, a small patch of woodland that runs behind the BGS site at Keyworth, accessed from Platt Lane. Over 12 000 spring bulbs were planted, providing a haven for wild animals, insects and birds. A Grand Bug Hotel has also been installed on BGS grounds, using natural waste materials to provide shelter for insects, which in turn will provide food for animals such as toads and hedgehogs.  

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