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MP vows to replace Stonehaven cherry blossoms broken in vandal attack

The cherry blossoms at Mineralwell Park.
The cherry blossoms at Mineralwell Park.

Replacement cherry blossoms could soon be on their way to a Stonehaven park, after a sixth of them were broken by vandals just a month after they were planted.

In December, 120 of the trees were placed in Mineralwell Park to mark the town’s links to Japan – particularly through the 19th century businessman Thomas Blake Glover.

They were planted by local pupils from Mill of Forest, Arduthie and Dunnottar primary as well as children from Stonehaven Sea Cadets and the Horizon Group.

However, just one month later, 20 of the saplings were snapped by vandals.

Andrew Bowie, the local MP who secured the original number for the project, has now written to the British Japan Society’s Sakura Cherry Tree Project team to apply for replacements.

Conservative MP Andrew Bowie at the planting event in December.

He said: “It is of course disappointing that a sixth of the Stonehaven trees were snapped, so soon after they were planted by local schoolchildren and cadets.

“I am in contact with Lady Victoria Borwick of the organisers and hope to get positive news on replacements as quickly as possible.

“This project is planting 6,500 cherry blossom trees, and there will undoubtedly be a lot of admin and catch-up from planting that was paused by Covid.”

Mr Bowie added: “This is a project that celebrates international friendship and goodwill, and Mineralwell Park will be a living testament to that for generations to come.”

Varieties of significance

The three varieties of cherry blossom at the park, Beni-yutaka, Taihaku and Somei-yoshino, were each picked for their variation in colour and timing, and for their historical significance.

White-blossomed Taihaku, for example, was thought to be extinct in Japan but was reintroduced there by ornithologist and plant collector Collingwood “Cherry” Ingram in 1932.

The trees form a memorial garden for Fraserburgh-born Thomas Blake Glover, who helped to found the shipbuilding company that would later become the Mitsubishi Corporation and the beer maker that became the Kirin Brewery Company.

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