Skip to content

Covid memorial forest launched at Crichton

Be the first to share!
By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Covid memorial forest launched at Crichton

THE first trees of the region’s covid memorial forest were planted at the Crichton on Tuesday.

Fifteen trees were planted at four locations within the grounds as part of Dumfries and Galloway’s Dispersed Memorial Forest to honour those lost during the coronavirus pandemic and provide a community place for reflection.

Artists TS Beall and Katie Anderson spoke to over 800 people as part of the Remembering Together project to create the memorial forest. Now with the first trees now in the ground they are delighted to see the forest come to life. T S Beall said: “We consider this to be a very auspicious day and we are really grateful to have our project partners with us to mark the occasion.

“We were fortunate enough to speak to over 800 people over a five-month period and what definitely came to the forefront was this sense of being outside and reconnecting with nature and from that idea of the dispersed memorial forest came from

“The plan is to plant one tree for every person that we unfortunately lost because of the virus and then additional trees to represent other types of loss but also the ways that communities came together during that time.”

ARTWORK . . . artists behind the Memorial Forest, T. S. Beall [Tara] and Katie Anderson 

Representatives of NHS Dumfries and Galloway and the People’s Project Dumfries were on hand to help and are proud to have been a partner of the project as NHS chairman Nick Morris said: “We are delighted to have been part of this scheme for a number of reasons. It’s important that we remember that a number of people had significant losses during that time.

“We also need to remember the lessons we learned during that period, and the need to get out of our houses and connect with the real world when we could by going out into green spaces.

“I think this programme with the trees being dispersed across the region is an opportunity for people to rengage and maintain a relationship with nature, that we know will have a postive impact on their mental health.”

REMEMBERING . . . artist Katie Anderson opens the proceedings on Tuesday

Among those helping with the Crichton planting was Louise Clark, a staff nurse at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, who was there to honour her colleagues who lost their lives to the virus. She said: “I am proud to be here as a member of NHS staff to plant trees for the memorial forest.

“It [the pandemic] was a real time of difficulty for the staff with the challenges and the changes, some lost their lives in the process and deserve to be remembered too so that’s why I’m here.”

The event was the first in a series of plantings taking place at other locations in the region in the coming months, including Castle Douglas, Moffat, Stranraer and Sanquhar, with a total of 400 trees to be planted.

A DIG TO REMEMBER . . . members of the Dumfries People’s Project who assisted in the planting of the first 15 trees


14th Apr

Council vows to protect staff rights to strike

By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter | DNG24