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Gingko tree planted at Lerwick Flower Park

Published: 06 August 2021

Paul Goddard, Shetland Amenity Trust Woodlands Team Leader


A ginkgo tree has been planted in Lerwick Flower Park this morning, to mark the 76th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing on 6th August 1945.

The gingko biloba seedling has been grown locally from seeds of trees that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima. Despite their extreme damage, six gingko trees about a mile from the bomb site survived to produce seeds which have been gathered and circulated widely as a message of peace through the international Mayors for Peace initiative.

Shetland is a ‘Member City’ of the Mayors for Peace initiative which aims to attain lasting world peace through the abolition of nuclear weapons, and finding solutions to global problems such as starvation and poverty, the plight of refugees, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.

Our woodlands team have carefully nurtured the gingko seeds, which were initially grown in a greenhouse before being brought on outdoors. Some seedlings have already been planted out in other locations in Shetland, including at some local schools, with other sites still being considered. It is hoped that the story of the trees will be an educational resource to stimulate discussions about conflict and peace.

Plans to mark the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima in August 2020 were postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

A gingko tree sapling has also recently been planted beside Shetland Library, in the grounds of the former St Ringan’s church, ahead of the planned move of the Council Chamber from the Town Hall next year.

Malcolm Bell, Convener said: “The seeds of the gingko trees in Hiroshima are a powerful symbol of hope, survival and resilience. They serve as a constant reminder of the need for meaningful dialogue and political discourse as a prerequisite to achieving lasting peace between nations.”