The planting of a dispersed memorial forest is part of Remembering Together Dumfries and Galloway (RTDG), this region’s contribution to the Scotland-wide memorial project funded by the Scottish Government. Each tree planted represents someone lost to covid.
The project is being led by DG Unlimited, Dumfries and Galloway Council, and Greenspace Scotland.
Artists t s Beall and Katie Anderson have been commissioned to work with communities across Dumfries and Galloway to collaboratively design and plant the dispersed memorial forest across five sites – Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Moffat, Sanquhar, and Stranraer.
The forest comprises the central part of the memorial, which will also include community events, and a permanent archive sharing stories from the community.
Councillor Ian Blake, chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s communities committee, said: “During the pandemic many of us found that doing something creative helped us to cope with very difficult experiences.
“It’s great to see how communities and individuals from across Dumfries and Galloway have helped shaped this covid memorial project for our region.”
The artists both started working in Dumfries and Galloway in summer 2022 during the first phase of the project which explored how communities and individuals might want to remember and honour those impacted by covid.
They then spoke to residents. One of the most prominent ideas which emerged from the discussions was the importance of spending time outdoors during the lockdowns. A focus on connecting with nature and a renewed appreciation for green spaces also emerged as strong themes.
Over the coming months, through to spring 2024, there will be opportunities to plant trees, attend creative workshops, and contribute to community events which will launch the Dispersed Memorial Forest sites. The project will be completed in June.
Those interested can get in touch by emailing [email protected]