If you’re heading into the city centre anytime soon, you might be in for a shock. And with all the celebrations going on currently in Birmingham, it’s highly likely you will be. So let us be the first to warn you that more than 70 young trees have been planted at the Smithfield Festival Site. As part of the ongoing Birmingham 2022 Festival, the pop-up garden will provide a natural refuge from concrete surroundings. Somewhere visitors can relax among apple, cherry and plum trees – with colourful benches, hammocks and badminton kits also provided.
The temporary garden is part of the National Trust’s Blossom Together programme. It is also giving away more than 600 blossoming trees to community groups near the number 11 bus route that circles Birmingham. The trees will be planted through the winter around the city to increase the greenery of urban areas. This is all being achieved with support from the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Birmingham was once referred to as the ‘town ringed by blossom’ due to the number of small gardens and orchards that surrounded the town during the mid-eighteenth century. To revive its botanical history, the National Trust is also aiming to create a new ring of blossom around the modern city.
A specially commissioned animation is also being screened at the Smithfield Festival Site, which is open July 29 to August 7. Local artist Martin McNally created the piece to continue the conservation charity’s celebration of blossom in urban areas. He has worked with community groups around the city and used the voices of those he spoke to in the film.
‘Spending time in green spaces is good for our wellbeing and the environment, so it’s important to look after and create more green spaces in our towns and cities as well as in the countryside,’ said Lucy Reid, who leads the National Trust’s Birmingham Strategy.
The National Trust’s Blossom Together programme is also working to bring more blossom to urban places across the country. For more details on the installation click here.