Nottingham City Council is to create ‘living memorials’ to remember those who lost their lives to Covid-19 in Nottingham.
A Covid Memorial Garden is to be created in Bulwell Forest, while 1,000 trees will be planted across the city to represent the Nottingham residents who died during the pandemic. A Covid Memorial Tree will be dedicated at The Forest Recreation Ground – site of Covid vaccinations and testing – and Forget-me-not seeds will be given to every primary school and made available free to the public from libraries to create an annual city-wide bloom.
The City Council has announced the memorials as Nottingham sadly approaches 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. The Forget-me-not seeds will be available from 23 March – the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
The remembrance activities will conclude with a public memorial service on the steps of the Council House on Saturday 2 April at 1pm, led by Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen.
Cllr Mellen said: “Covid-19 has taken an awful toll on our lives; we’ve sacrificed, followed rules and restrictions, and all done our best to stay safe from this terrible virus. I’m saddened that so many people have lost their lives in our city – to approach 1,000 deaths is a tragic milestone.
“The anniversary of our first lockdown in 2020 feels like an appropriate time to look back, reflect and remember all of those people we have sadly lost to Covid in Nottingham.
“I would like to invite people to join us in our memorial activities – especially at the tree dedication at the Forest Recreation Ground and again when we gather for a memorial ceremony on the steps of the Council House.
“It is important that we do everything we can to stop this death toll from rising any higher. Covid is still present in our city and in the wider country; we must continue to take steps to live safely with the virus.
“Please continue to consider wearing a mask when you are in busy indoor spaces. There is still free testing available in Nottingham. If you are feeling a bit under the weather, please get a PCR test and stay at home as much as you can until you get the results. This will help to avoid passing on the virus. You can pick up LFD (rapid) tests from libraries, leisure centres and pharmacies or order kits online.
“Taking the vaccine is still the most important thing we can all do. It’s not too late to get vaccinated, whether it’s your first, second or booster dose. You can walk into the vaccination centre at the Forest Recreation Ground or book your jab online.”
Forget-me-not seeds are being given out to every primary school in the city to help create a living bloom of remembrance on Wednesday 23 March. The seeds will also be available in city libraries and the Tourist Information Office. People are being asked to share their seed planting on social media with the hashtag #ForgetMeNot.
Covid Memorial Tree Dedication
A special Covid Memorial Tree is to be planted at the Forest Recreation Ground by the pavilion to remember those who had died and to acknowledge the life-saving work of Covid-19 testing and vaccinations that took place there. A dedication ceremony for the hornbeam tree and plaque unveiling with Cllr Mellen and City Council Chief Executive Mel Barrett is open to the public and will take place on Thursday 24 March at 11.15am. Local school children have been invited to plant Forget-me-not seeds at the site.
Covid Memorial Service
The public are invited to attend a Covid Memorial Service in Old Market Square on the steps of the Council House on Saturday 2 April at 1pm. This will include speeches, readings and reflections from the last two years of the pandemic – as well as observing a minute’s silence.
Planting 1,000 trees
As the city approaches 1,000 deaths from Covid-19, the council has pledged to plant 1,000 trees in every part of the city to represent the lives that have been lost. The trees will be selected from existing stock scheduled for planting over the next year. Current data shows the number of deaths in Nottingham from Covid is 972.
Covid Memorial Garden
Plans are being drawn up for a dedicated Covid Memorial Garden at Bulwell Forest to include oak trees, benches and a mural designed by a local artist. Details are still being developed but it is hoped to have the garden ready later this year.