Covid-19 memorial garden to open in Gadebridge Park in Hemel Hempstead in July

The memorial treeThe memorial tree
The memorial tree
The official opening will take place on July 16

A memorial garden to remember the lives of those lost to the Covid-19 pandemic is set to officially open this July.

The garden in Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead will feature a red-leaf Copper Beech tree at its heart - which was planted in October after fundraising efforts from resident Margaret Sharp, who wanted to organise a place of reflection for people to remember their lost loved ones.

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And more than 24,000 bulbs have been planted by Dacorum Borough Council including crocuses and tulips which will flower in the spring. Work to install a path and terrace around the tree will take place over the next few months.

An official opening event and tree blessing ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 16.

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Margaret, from the Dacorum Carer Support Hub, raised money from residents and local groups and worked with Sir Mike Penning MP to raise funds from local businesses.

She said: “Early in the pandemic we lost one of our carers and we were all devastated.

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"Over the coming months we saw more and more people affected by the virus and the heartbreak it has caused to so many.

"It’s been a terrible time for our community and I wanted to shine a light on the people that needed support and thought a tree would be a lovely place for people to go and reflect."

Sir Mike said: “Covid-19 has affected so many people in our community and the garden will be a special part of Gadebridge Park for people to pause for reflection and remember loved ones for many years and decades to come.”

Cllr Graham Barrett, Dacorum Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services said: “Work on the garden has begun with the planting of bulbs and wildflower turf.

"Over the next few months we will install the path, terraces and benches. We are looking forward to the garden opening in July and creating a peaceful sanctuary for residents to reflect.”

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