THIRTY peace seeds originating from ‘A-bombed’ gingko trees in the Japanese city of Hiroshima have been planted in Ayr’s Belleisle Conservatory.

The seeds were donated by Mayors of Peace, an international organisation, established in 1982, to bring together cities and places dedicated to the promotion of peace.

It was created by the then Mayor of Hiroshima in response to the deaths of around 140,000 people due to the atomic bombing of the city on August 6, 1945. Trees that had been devastated by the bomb sprouted buds again from their burnt trunks, and became a symbol of hope and courage for the city.

South Ayrshire’s 30 peace seeds have now been planted by volunteers at Belleisle Conservatory and will be looked after, over the next two years, until the saplings are ready to be planted in the ground.

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie was joined by the Consul-General of Japan, Daisuke Matsunaga, to mark the handover and planting of these remarkable seeds.

Consul-General Matsunaga, said: “Hiroshima is very close to my heart. 
“In fact, my wife’s family is originally from Hiroshima, and one of her uncles, who was a thirteen-year-old schoolboy, perished near the epicentre on the fateful day of August 6, 1945.

Provost Moonie added: “We’re proud and privileged to receive this very generous gift from Mayors for Peace, and it was a true honour to be joined by the Consul-General of Japan to mark the planting of these seeds, which travelled almost 6,000 miles to make the journey from Hiroshima to Ayr.”

Eva Richardson, South Ayrshire Youth Forum Overall Star and Citizenship Award winner represented South Ayrshire’s young people at the handover.