All aboard the Blossom Bus

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Annabel Truman (left) and Melissa Volante (right) of National Express West Midlands, with James Carnell and Lucy Reid of the National Trust. SHAUN FELLOWS/NATIONAL TRUST

The National Trust recently spent a week planting blossom trees in Birmingham, delivering young fruit trees on National Express West Midlands’ number 11 bus route. Thanks to funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the National Trust gave away more than 600 blossoming trees to create a symbolic ring of blossom around the city. Working closely with the operator, the conservation charity jumped aboard a specially branded ‘Blossom Bus’ to deliver a mixture of apple, pear, plum, and ornamental cherry trees to residents, community groups, and schools along the 27-mile route 11, which serves over 260 stops on its journey through the city.


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Across the country, the National Trust is working with partners to bring more blossom to urban places, and in Birmingham has been inspired by the city’s botanical history when it was surrounded by orchards and gardens with blossoming trees. Lucy Reid, who leads the National Trust’s Birmingham Strategy, said: “We’re so excited to be at the planting stage of the new, symbolic ring of blossom around Birmingham. Last summer we put a call-out for people to register for free blossoming trees and we were delighted with the response. Now, those trees are being delivered and planted with everyone involved playing their part in an important legacy for the city.

“Blossom is not only beautiful, it’s also vital for the well being of our environment – and for us. It is great for pollinators such as bees, which help trees produce fruit, and the trees also help to clean the air we breathe by absorbing carbon and producing oxygen. We know that, through urban expansion, since the 1900s the number of orchards in Birmingham has dropped by 85%. This legacy project is helping to bring back some of that blossom and we hope to encourage more people to plant blossom trees too.”