Our Newcastle Nature Recovery ranger, Sally Johnson, has held her first public event, a Hanami Luncheon showcasing the blossom ‘swirl’ being planted by local charity Urban Green in Exhibition Park on the outskirts of the city.

‘Hanami’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘flower viewing’, and Urban Green are planting 26 ancient varieties of cherry blossom trees this autumn that will curve around the lake and pathway. The Tai-Haku trees have particularly large white flowers, and are being introduced to the park as park of the National Trust’s Blossom Together initiative.

Woodcraft workshop at Urban Green's Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle
Woodcraft workshop at Urban Green’s Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle. Photo: Sally Paine / Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 2022. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Wood carving workshop at Urban Green's Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle
Wood carving workshop at Urban Green’s Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle. Photo: Sally Paine / Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 2022. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

The event took place on 3 November, and under blue skies, local families were invited to share their thoughts on how nature makes them feel. Their responses will inspire the creation of wooden benches and a sculpture that will be installed in the centre of the blossom swirl. They were joined by craftspeople from Tyne Housing’s Creative Wood Workshop, who ran activities including wood carving, wood printing and painting.

Participants also learned about the historic connection that Newcastle’s Hospitals have with the park and other local green spaces, which were established during Victorian times to support health and recreation.

Woodblock printing workshop at Urban Green's Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle
Woodblock printing workshop at Urban Green’s Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle. Photo: Sally Paine / Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 2022. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Wood carving workshop at Urban Green's Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle
Wood carving workshop at Urban Green’s Hanami Luncheon in Newcastle. Photo: Sally Paine / Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 2022. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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