Blossom Circles to be planted as Covid memorial as part of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project

PUBLISHED: 12 November 2021

Planting for Year 3 of Colchester Borough Council’s Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project will start at Kings Head Meadow on Saturday 27 November, with several blossom circles being planted as a memorial for the Covid 19 pandemic.
To kick off National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, four interconnecting rings of tree circles will be planted at Kings Head Meadow in Castle Park. The four rings of trees will be made up of the following species:
  • Circle One – The Wildlife Glade will be made up of native wild flowering trees to attract bees and other pollinators including Crab Apple, Hawthorn, Rowan, Elder, Wild Cherry & Wild Plum.
  • Circle Two – The Orchard Glade will be made up of fruit bearing trees such as apples, pears, cherries, plums and gages etc
  • Circle Three – The Japanese Glade will be made up of ornamental Cherry Blossom Trees, including Prunus serrulata spp, Kanzan, Amanogawa, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shiro-fugen, Shirotae and Tai-Haku
  • Circle Four – The Memory Glade will be for remembrance and made up of a variety of species to provide year-round blossom for lasting memories.

The tree-planting will be led by Together We Grow CIC working with residents who have pre-booked to take part via the council’s website, alongside the Mayor and Mayoress, the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress, and members of the Cabinet. The final blossom circle will be planted by NHS and Community 360 workers on Wednesday, 1 December, in recognition of the role they have played in the pandemic response.

The idea is based on the popular Japanese custom of Hanami (enjoying the transient beauty of flowers), which is an established part of culture in Japan. It builds on an initiative launched by the National Trust that has seen blossom circles planted as a Covid memorial in London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth and other locations across the UK.

It is hoped that this area will be a place to remember all those who have lost their lives, honour key workers and reflect on the boroughs shared experience of the pandemic and help to signal reflection and hope following Covid-19.

Cllr Simon Crow, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said: A key element of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity project is to plant more trees and to address the need for green space and nature where people live.

“By creating these blossom spaces, we can build a space where people can reflect on the events of the past two years, whilst connecting with nature. Many people recognised the importance of access to nature during the coronavirus outbreak, with many finding time in green spaces beneficial for their physical health and mental wellbeing. These areas will be lovely places for people to go where they can pay their respects and reflect.

“We are on a drive to improve biodiversity across the borough, and this supports this aim in a very poignant way.”

Gaps in the planting of each ring will create paths that will connect to one another throughout the site, and will feature seating and signage explaining the types of trees planted and the reasons behind the choice of trees.

There’s still time to sign up get involved in planting the blossom circles or with any of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity public planting days, by registering via the council’s website.

To keep up to date with the project, find out more and register for one of the planting click here.

Page last reviewed: 12 November 2021


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