One hundred cherry trees have been planted at a County Durham park, marking 150 years of friendship between Japan and the UK.

As part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project, Durham County Council has worked with sponsors NSK to ensure County Durham was included in the scheme to plant more than 5,000 trees throughout the UK.

It has also designed the layout and planted the cherry trees at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street.

The nationwide project was launched in 2017 to recognise the continued cooperation between Japan and the UK as part of the Japan-UK Seasons of Culture project.

Planting of the cherry blossoms, which is the national flower of Japan, began earlier this year.

100 Cherry Trees Planted In Commemoration Of Japan And The UK's 150 Years Of Friendship
Sakura trees

Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “The trees are a fantastic addition to not only Riverside Park, but to County Durham. I hope they will be enjoyed by many residents and visitors as they continue to blossom over the years, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them in the spring.

As well as bringing enjoyment to many, the trees are a great reminder of the benefits of working together and will act as a wonderful symbol of the enduring friendship between Japan and the UK.”

NSK Ltd., based in Peterlee, is one of the many companies who have supported the project with donations.

Steve Metcalfe, from NSK Bearings Europe Ltd., said: “We are honoured to be one of the sponsors of the Sakura Cherry Tree project and are delighted to give it our full support.

The planting of the 5,000 trees is a collective effort to mark 150 years of cooperation and friendship between the two countries and we are really proud that we have been able to bring the project to County Durham. The sight of 100 cherry trees in full bloom in the spring is a fantastic symbol of that longstanding friendship and we look forward to seeing that grow in the future.”

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