Tree of remembrance planted in Hemel's Gadebridge Park in memory of lives lost during Covid-19 pandemic

Margaret wanted to create a place of reflection for people to remember those lost during the pandemic

Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:18 pm

A remembrance tree has been planted in Gadebridge Park in memory of Dacorum residents who have lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The red leaf Copper Beech will be the focal point of a garden of reflection in Hemel Hempstead, to be installed by Dacorum Borough Council next year.

Plans for the memorial garden include benches and wildflower planting to encourage a biodiverse, peaceful place for the community to reflect and remember loved ones.

Tree of remembrance planted in Gadebridge Park

The initiative is the culmination of a fundraising effort by Margaret Sharp, from the Dacorum Carer Support Hub, who wanted to create a place of reflection for people to remember those lost during the pandemic.

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Fundraising page for a memorial tree to loved-ones lost in the Covid-19 pandemic...

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

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

Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP and Margaret Sharp

"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.

"It is wonderful news that Dacorum Borough Council is installing a garden around the tree and I’m sure many people will draw comfort from being able to visit and sit in peace.”

Margaret raised money from residents and local groups and worked with The MP for Hemel Hempstead, Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning, to raise funds from local businesses.

Sir Mike Penning said: “The impact of Covid-19 on our community has been devastating.

Remembrance tree being planted

"The planting of a lasting, living memorial is an important step for Dacorum to commemorate those that we have lost during this time, and to remember those people who have been, and continue to be, affected.

"We hope this special place in Gadebridge Park will be somewhere people can go to pause for reflection and pay their respects for many years and decades to come.”

Cllr Margaret Griffiths, Deputy Leader of Dacorum Borough Council attended the tree planting on Friday, October 1, along with Dacorum Borough Council Chief Executive Claire Hamilton.

The tree, which is around 25-years-old and was provided at cost by Majestic Trees, in Flamstead, will be blessed at an official ceremony next year.