Bereaved families visit new Covid Memorial Garden

Trees, wildflower seeds, turf and benches have all now been installed in Telford’s new Covid Memorial Garden, as Telford & Wrekin Council’s work to create a peaceful green space dedicated to the memory of those lost during the pandemic nears completion.

The memorial garden, which is situated within Telford Town Park and due to open to the public next month, will feature a ‘centre piece’ sculpture inspired by the experiences of local bereaved families.

This week, Telford & Wrekin Council invited families who have engaged with the project to see how the site is progressing. They were also given a preview of how the sculpture will look once it is positioned as a focal point later in the year.

Victoria Biggin from the council’s biT team has led on designing the space, supported by specialist tree officer Matt Seabrook who specified a wide variety of species including oak, elm and alder.

Contractors Welch and Phillips managed the construction and re-forming of the site, overseeing the installation of pathways and moongates, swales and ground clearance. Local landscaping firm Brewood Landscapes were responsible for the tree planting, seeding and turfing of the site, also providing additional support to the project free of charge in recognition of the community value of the space.

Cllr Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said:

“We wanted to create a space dedicated to the memory of family, friends and community members who are no longer with us as a result of the pandemic, and to pay tribute to the key workers who played such an important role.”

“The garden has also been designed to provide a calm and soothing space for those who are still experiencing the impact of Covid, whether through long-term illness or trauma.

“Once it has opened to the public in a few weeks’ time, we hope this will be a place where residents can come to find comfort in a peaceful setting, surrounded by nature.”

Cllr Kelly Middleton, cabinet member for leisure, public health and well-being, equalities and partnerships, said:

“The memorial garden has been beautifully landscaped and I’m looking forward to seeing the wildflowers come up and the leaves come through on all the trees. This is going to be a very special space and a wonderful new addition to Telford Town Park.”

Brookside resident, Sarah Toni, who visited the site, said:

“It was lovely to see the garden coming along. It will be a special place for me and my family, a place we can go to remember my husband and my children will think of their dad. A very much appreciated memorial as the victims of the Covid19 pandemic should never be forgotten.”

Jill Rankin from Ketley added:

"I thought that the memorial garden is a lovely and thoughtful idea. Seeing it for the first time I loved the flowing pathway and the trees that have already been planted and I could visualise what it’ll look like with all the flowers blooming. It will be a beautiful and tranquil area for not only people who lost loved ones during the covid pandemic, but for all who visit and spend some time there. With the addition of Joseph’s sculpture, which will also be able to be seen from the other side of the pool, it will be a special place."