Hornchurch Covid woodland memorial gets residents' backing, survey says

Hornchurch Country Park.

The plans for a Covid-19 memorial woodland at Hornchurch Country Park were supported by 85 per cent of people. - Credit: Lindsay Jones

planned tree tribute in Hornchurch to mark the impact of Covid-19 has been backed by residents, according to Havering Council.  

An online survey, which closed on September 3, asked for opinions and offered residents and groups the chance to take part in planting and maintaining of the tree memorial.  

Overall, the plan for a memorial woodland at Hornchurch Country Park was supported by 85 per cent of respondees.  

The council has confirmed that the site will comprise more than 1,000 trees leading from a central memorial stone.  

Plans for a series of individual trees to be planted in borough wards at sites such as Queen’s Hospital in Romford, were supported by 89 per cent of the survey’s participants.  

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The aim of the memorial sites is to provide a "suitable space for quiet reflection", according to the council.  

The authority has committed to not removing any existing trees and to enhance the biodiversity of the larger park setting.  

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Dedicated memorial benches will also be installed, with residents and businesses being encouraged to express interest should they want to install one.  

Council leader, Damian White, said: “I want to thank those who took time in responding to the survey.  

“The feedback and support for a lasting Covid-19 memorial is really positive. We want to create a number of memorial sites across the borough where our residents and key workers will be able to reflect and remember those lost during this awful pandemic.  

“But they will also be places of peace and in years to come, a reminder of Havering’s unwavering community spirit which helped us all get through the most difficult of times.  

“It is really important for us to have residents play a part in this project as we move forward with plans. 

“I was grateful to receive a letter of support for our plans from our partners at Queen’s Hospital given the significant effort of local NHS staff in keeping us all safe. 

“Queen’s Hospital are looking forward to welcoming a tree within the hospital grounds that will honour the loss of life throughout the borough, whilst acknowledging the efforts of key workers and residents throughout the pandemic.” 

To express interest and receive more information regarding the memorial benches, email: woodlandinfo@havering.gov.uk 

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