Blossom celebrations return to Burley Park

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Co-chair of the Friends of Burley Park, Mike Winter, at last year's event. Photo: Connor Briggs

Burley Park is set to inspire local residents to get creative as special Blossom celebrations return to bring a splash of colour – a year on after a special patch was created in the park.

Love Leeds Parks, in collaboration with Friends of Burley Park and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), planted 10 blossom trees last year to create a space that could be appreciated by all visitors to the park. They were accompanied by a new path and benches, making this section of the park a welcoming sight that shows spring is in full bloom and ready to be enjoyed.

This year’s celebration event is set to be held in the park tomorrow (Friday 12 April). Guests from various organisations will join members of the community to enjoy live music performed by local artists Sam Thornton & Andy Morgan and Joseph Moore, poetry readings from Christopher R. Moore, a cyanotype workshop with Jenny Wright, and refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic.

Chloe Sykes, CEO of Love Leeds Parks, in Burley Park. Photo: Connor Briggs

Chloe Sykes, CEO of Love Leeds Parks, said: “This event is a fantastic continuation of our work in Burley Park, celebrating the legacy of the Blossom space we created in partnership with the National Trust last year.

“With an amazing line-up of artists, we’re ready to showcase how Blossom can inspire in urban areas like Burley. This event is part of a wider programme of activity we are funding in Burley Park and we’re delighted to be supporting local partners in providing residents with opportunities to come together and access the many benefits this well-loved public green space has to offer.”

Last year, Love Leeds Parks worked with over 30 local organisations and 449 individuals to discover their vision for their local park in Burley and Harehills. Since then, the charity has awarded almost £10,000 in grants to community groups to host engaging activity in both parks, showing off the natural beauty in the middle of the city.

Members of the public could post ideas about what they’d like to see in parks. Photo: Connor Briggs

Now, working in collaboration with the National Trust, this annual event complements the Blossomise programme of events created with Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate, and his band LYR. The band – comprised of Simon Armitage, singer-songwriter Richard Walters and instrumentalist Patrick Pearson – have produced five new blossom songs inspired by the season. Simon has also created a body of blossom-inspired poems and haikus, also titled Blossomise. The music and poetry work together to celebrate the power of blossom.

Last year Simon Armitage attended the Blossom event in Burley Park to help inspire the music and poetry he wrote in the Blossomise works, meeting local residents and recording new elements of the works in Burley.

Burley Park sits in one of the most densely populated areas of the city, and Friends of the Earth say Burley is ranked in the second most deprived category for greenspace in the country.

Find out more about Love Leeds Parks get involved here.

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