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In three weeks’ time, Regent’s Park Manager, Nick Biddle, will run the infamous 26.2 mile London Marathon in aid of an historic avenue of cherry trees in The Regent’s Park.

Nick has managed the park for eight years. He and his team care for 191 hectares (472 acres) of astonishing green space including: cricket, rugby and football pitches; the open air theatre; lakes, meadows and the world famous Rose Gardens; never mind the city’s last known population of breeding hedgehogs. No small feat!

In the 1932, a private donor, Sigismund Goetze, paid for an avenue of flowering cherry trees to be planted on Chester Road, running up to Queen Mary’s Gardens. They quickly became a dearly loved icon of spring for neighbours and visitors alike. The most recent cherry trees, Kanzan, were planted in 1976.

Sadly, trees cannot last indefinitely. The cherry trees on Chester Road have come to the end of their natural life-span and, when disease finally struck, they had to be removed. However, the good news is that the Royal Parks Foundation is helping raise the funds needed to replant the cherry trees later this year.

One hundred Prunus Sunset Boulevard will be planted in late 2015, with the support of the general public, who are committed not only to the future of blossom in the Park but also to the resident wildlife who need a plentiful supply of nectar and fruit.

One of these tree-lovers is Nick Biddle himself. To raise money for this project so close to his heart, Nick has challenged himself to complete the 26.2 grueling miles of the world famous London Marathon. Friends and family have rallied behind his fundraising – so much so that he has already raised enough money to sponsor a whole new cherry tree on Chester Road later this year!

Nick says: “planting semi-mature trees is hugely expensive and we’re keen to plant this coming winter.  This is your chance to be part of restoring a beautiful historic vista, how often does that opportunity come around?  Go on, dig deep!  I’ll certainly need to on April 26th.”

The Royal Parks Foundation team is behind Nick, and we wish him wings on his heels…

To support the Cherry Tree Campaign please visit this Virgin Money Giving page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/cherrytrees

To show your support for Nick Biddle please click here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NickBiddle1

8 April 2015
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