Nottingham City Council is to create “living memorials” to remember those who lost their lives in Nottingham to Covid-19.
A Covid Memorial Garden is to be created in Bulwell Forest, while 1,000 trees will be planted across the city to represent Nottingham residents who have 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 distributed to each elementary school and made available to the public free of charge by libraries to create an annual citywide bloom.
City Council has announced the memorials as Nottingham sadly approaches 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The forget-me-not seeds will be available from March 23 – the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown of 2020.
The commemoration 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 a terrible toll on our lives; We made sacrifices, followed rules and restrictions, and all did our best to stay safe from this terrible virus. I am saddened that so many people in our city have lost their lives – approaching 1.000 deaths is a tragic milestone.
“The anniversary of our first lockdown in 2020 seems like an appropriate time to look back, reflect and remember all the people we have sadly lost to Covid in Nottingham.
“I would like to invite people to join us in our commemorative activities – particularly at the tree dedication ceremony at the forest recreation area and again when we gather for a memorial service on the steps of the parish hall.
“It is important that we do everything we can to prevent the death toll from rising any further. Covid is still present in our city and across the country; We must continue to take steps to live safely with the virus.
“Please continue to consider wearing a mask when in busy indoor areas. Free tests are still available in Nottingham. If you’re feeling a little groggy, please take a PCR test and stay at home as much as possible until you get the results. This will help prevent transmission of the virus. You can pick up LFD (rapid) tests at libraries, recreation centers and pharmacies, or order kits online.
“Vaccination 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 shot. You can go to the vaccination center at Forest Recreation Ground or book your vaccination online.”
Forget-me-not seeds are being distributed to every elementary school in town to create a living flower of remembrance Wednesday March 23rd. The seeds will also be available in city libraries and at the tourist information office. People are asked to share their seed planting on social media using the hashtag #ForgetMeNot.
Dedication of the Covid memorial tree
A special Covid memorial tree is to be planted on the Forest Recreation Ground next to the pavilion to remember those who died and to recognize the life-saving work of the Covid-19 testing and vaccinations that have taken place there. A dedication ceremony for the Hornbeam and unveiling of the plaque, featuring Cllr Mellen and City Council Chief Executive Mel Barrett, is open to the public and will be held on Thursday 24 March at 11.15am. Local school children were invited to plant forget-me-not seeds on site.
Covid memorial service
The public is invited to attend a Covid memorial service in the Old Market Square on the steps of the Town Hall Saturday, April 2, 1 p.m. This includes speeches, readings and reflections from the last two years of the pandemic – as well as a minute’s silence.
Plant 1,000 trees
As the city approaches 1,000 deaths from Covid-19, the council has pledged to plant 1,000 trees in each part of the city to represent the lives lost. The trees are selected from the stock that is to be planted over the course of 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 special Covid Memorial Garden in Bulwell Forest, which will 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 by the end of this year.