First trees planted at memorial near Chesterfield to remember lives lost in pandemic

The first steps towards creating a lasting memorial parkland to honour local people who have died with Covid-19 and pay tribute to the work of the NHS have been taken with the planting of the first trees.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 11:05 am

A ceremony saw Derbyshire County Council leader Councillor Barry Lewis and civic chair Coun Jean Wharmby plant a Japanese flowering cherry tree at the authority’s Grassmoor Country Park near Chesterfield.

An avenue of oak trees has already been planted at the site.

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A memorial to lives lost in the pandemic is being established at Grassmoor Country Park near Chesterfield.

Coun Lewis said: “The idea for the memorial parkland came from a lady who contacted me during the pandemic and had lost loved ones to Covid-19 and wanted somewhere to remember them and celebrate their lives.

“From that conversation the idea grew, and what we will have as the trees grow is a beautiful, green, peaceful space where people will be able to sit, walk, reflect and remember.

“I’m incredibly honoured to have been part of the ceremony to mark the first trees being planted and very pleased we have been able to make this happen.”

Coun Wharmby said: “This has been an incredibly poignant and moving event to officially mark the start of our memorial parkland, which will grow and grow.

“So many of us have been affected by Covid-19 and sadly many have experienced the loss of someone close to them.

“While we know the pandemic is far from over, we are beginning the process of recovery and healing, and the start of the memorial parkland is part of that process.

“In years to come people will be able to visit this area of Grassmoor Country Park and remember and celebrate the lives of those who were lost.

“It already feels like a truly special place,” she added.

The creation of the memorial parkland was agreed by the county council in September and is supported by the Friends of Grassmoor Country Park.

The Friends of Grassmoor Country Park group has agreed to help the county council with the planting and maintenance of the memorial parkland which will contribute to the authority’s target of planting a million trees by 2030.

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