Plans for an enduring and living Covid 19 memorial

Published: Monday, 16 August 2021

Havering Council has announced plans to commemorate the impact of Covid 19 on our communities through the planting of over 1,000 trees at selected sites.

It is hoped that these trees will be a living testament to those who have lost their lives, family or loved ones, whilst honouring the significant efforts by key workers and our residents to keep our borough safe during the pandemic.

A series of local individual tree plantings in borough wards and at significant sites such as hospitals are in development, with plans for an extensive Memorial Woodland of native trees set within Hornchurch Country Park.

The Memorial Woodland at Hornchurch Country Park will comprise of over 1,000 trees radiating from a central memorial stone and feature paths to provide accessibility for elderly and disabled residents.

All the memorial sites aim to provide a suitable space to promote quiet reflection.

Many of us have reconnected with outdoor and green spaces since the start of the pandemic and enjoyed the associated benefits from the positive health benefits.

Havering has a long-established tradition of tree planting; the memorial trees would be introduced later this year to take advantage of the upcoming planting season in late autumn.

The larger park setting would provide the necessary space for trees to flourish with ideal ground conditions, quality soil and without the need to remove any existing trees.

We are asking residents for their support as part of our plans to ensure we create lasting legacy for our communities.

Initially, we are asking residents for their opinions on the project and will also be gathering details from any residents or groups who may wish to take part in the planting and ongoing maintenance of the new trees.

The Leader of Havering Council, Damian White, said:

“The living, growing memorial is designed to be a fitting tribute to symbolise the challenges faced over the past eighteen months, as we rebuild and recover.

“We want to create an enduring legacy that honours the loss of lives whilst acknowledging the efforts of key workers and residents throughout the pandemic.

“Our reliance on our green spaces became apparent during the pandemic, they provided us with much-needed mind space, so it would be really significant to create a breathing and accessible space for remembrance and reflection on the Hornchurch Country Park site and with individual trees in each of our borough wards.

“I encourage our communities to take part in this project, we would really welcome your ongoing support for the memorial tree tribute.”

More information and view the proposals