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Hospital sites chosen for covid forest walk

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Hospital sites chosen for covid forest walk

DOZENS of trees are to be planted at two former hospitals in Dumfries to honour those lost to covid in the region.

The Crichton and Mountainhall are both designated sites for the Dispersed Memorial Forest project, which will see 400 trees in total planted locally as part of Remembering Together Dumfries and Galloway.

Artists TS Beall and Katie Anderson, above, are working with those communities to collaboratively design and plant the forest, made up of native species.

They said: “We want to plant one tree for each person we lost to covid in the region, and additional trees to represent other types of loss and resilience; to highlight the different ways communities ‘grew together’ over the pandemic.

“For Dumfries we will plant a sequence of trees that will combine to create a walk reminiscent of the one hour limits we had to spend time outdoors during the early stages of lockdown.”

And they want to hear from anyone who wants to help with the Dumfries planting between February 26 and March 1.

The forest comprises the central part of the official covid memorial for Dumfries and Galloway, which will also include community events in all five locations, and a permanent archive sharing stories from the community.

Members of the public are being invited to connect with the project, comment on the works and ideas in development, and to volunteer and get involved in co-designing specific aspects of the Community Covid Memorial.

Over the coming months, through to spring, there will be opportunities to plant trees, attend creative workshops, and contribute to community events.

Anyone interested should email [email protected].

Remembering Together Dumfries and Galloway is commissioned by greenspace scotland, DG Unlimited, and Dumfries and Galloway Council with funding from the Scottish Government.

Councillor Ian Blake 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.”

Lucy Bell, of DG Unlimited, added: “This is an important project for this region and for Scotland, and we are all thrilled to see the plans coming to fruition and the tree planting commencing.”

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