Botanic Garden’s Black Pine lit by eco-bikes during spectacular Coronation light show


The Pinus nigra – along with student, Garden staff and vounteer cyclists – featured in BBC Studio’s ‘Lighting up the Nation’ Coronation Concert celebrations.

It is a great honour to have our Black Pine included as part of the choreographed display.Beverley Glover, CUBG Director

As part of the weekend of Coronation celebrations, 10 locations around the UK including Cambridge University Botanic Garden – as well as landmarks in Blackpool, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Gateshead, Cornwall and Belfast – were lit up in a stunning live sequence called Lighting Up The Nation.

Billed by the BBC as ‘a truly spectacular part of the Coronation Concert… a very special moment for people all across the country to come together in celebration’, the event showcased the country’s diverse cultural heritage in music, theatre and dance, with the amazing light display as a stunning centrepiece using projections, drones, laser displays and illuminations to bring iconic locations to life.

The majestic Pinus nigra tree, which forms part of the Garden’s iconic tree collection, is located along the Garden’s Main Walk and helps form the backbone of the Heritage Landscape. On the evening of Sunday 7 May the tree and surrounding landscape was seen as never before – dressed in a stunning display of 12,500 lights, powered by 25 eco-bikes, ridden by Cambridge University students, Garden staff and volunteers to create a kinetic power display to highlight the King’s commitment to green energy and conservation.

Beverley Glover, CUBG Director, said: “It is a great honour to have been selected as one of 10 iconic locations to form the centrepiece of Lighting up the Nation, broadcast live from Windsor Castle, and to have our Black Pine included as part of the choreographed display.

“CUBG’s tree collection dates back to the founding of the Garden on this site and is the vision of our founder and Charles Darwin’s mentor – John Stevens Henslow. The Pinus nigra, Black Pine, is one of the first Garden plantings and it is interesting because it was selected by Henslow to demonstrate how plants even within the same species can be different. Some species of Black Pine from warm climates hold their branches erect, while Black Pines from cold areas, have sloping branches to allow snow to slide off them to limit the snow load on their branches and ensure the leaves are free to photosynthesise.”

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