A community tree planting event is taking place this Saturday to create a memorial woodland in Arrowe Country Park that will serve as a commemoration for Wirral residents who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
Funded through the Mersey Forest via their Trees for Climate programme, the new woodland will be two hectares – around the size of two football pitches. It will be a living forest, with the aim of planting a tree for every person who has died with COVID-19 during the pandemic. To date, that figure is more than 1,100.
The new woodland is being created within Arrowe Country Park, adjacent to the site of the hospital which has played such as a significant role in the borough’s response to the global health emergency.
As well as providing an appropriate and long-lasting memorial, which had been requested by many local bereaved families, the woodland will also play an important part of the borough’s response to the climate emergency, helping the area meet its targets of doubling its tree canopy and achieving ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2030.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee for Wirral Council, said, “Creating this new woodland right behind the hospital is a poignant way of providing a living and lasting way to remember those who have sadly lost their lives to this terrible virus.
“The first trees will be planted this weekend, but the aim is that the memorial woodland can be added to and enhanced as required. The intention is to plant at least one tree for each life lost to COVID-19 in Wirral and we are grateful to the Mersey Forest for providing the funding for the creation of the woodland. The council will, in time, invest capital funding for a memorial plaque or stone that will make this area a place where people can spend time to remember and reflect.”
The new woodland will serve as a template for other parts of the borough to create smaller planted and seating areas should communities wish to develop local memorials to those who lost their lives to COVID-19.
To get involved with the planting event at Arrowe Country Park this weekend, please email [email protected] who will provide further details including location plan.