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Woodland tribute to Derbyshire’s coronavirus victims

Published: 23 March 2021

A memorial woodland will be created in Derbyshire to remember and honour more than 2,000 local people who have died with COVID-19 in the last 12 months.

We are considering Grassmoor Country Park as a site, subject to local consultation with groups, to create a sustainable tribute that will be a place for people to walk and remember those they have lost, for years to come.

We are announcing the plans on the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown on the 23 March 2020 and as the latest figures show there have been 2,140 deaths with COVID-19 in Derbyshire during the pandemic from 47,438 known cases.

The plans are in development and we are keen for local people to contribute their ideas of how to make the woodland a place for remembrance, contemplation and healing.

Councillor Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council said a living, sustainable tribute was a fitting memorial to those who had lost their lives.

“Derbyshire, and the whole world, has experienced an incredibly hard 12 months, the like of which none of us could have predicted and which we hope to never see again.

“We have lost over 2,000 people in Derbyshire, people who were family, friends and colleagues and will be missed for many decades to come. We want to create a place where people can come to remember, to find some peace and healing in a natural and sustainable environment and to know that their loved one has not been forgotten.

“Over the coming months we will be talking to people across the county about the woodland and gathering their ideas so we can create a place that is truly meaningful and is owned by our communities.

“As we emerge from this lockdown, hopefully for the last time, it is important that whilst we look forward we also remember and hold those who meant so much to us in our hearts and that we create a place to visit and remember.”

Further information about the scheme, and ways to get involved, will be shared over the summer and autumn.