Wales to plant woodlands in memory of people who died in Covid pandemic

Wales to plant woodlands in memory of people who died in Covid pandemic

Three woodlands are to be created in Wales in memory of those who have died from coronavirus during the pandemic.

The first two woodlands will be planted on part of the National Trust Cymru’s Erddig Estate in Wrexham, and at a site at Brownhill in the Tywi Valley in Carmarthenshire.

A memorial woodland is also expected to be grown in South East Wales, however a location has not yet been chosen.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the plans in March 2021 and planting is expected to begin this year.

He has said he wants the forests to be a symbol of the country’s resilience and ability to renew itself.

While they are hoped to become commemorative areas for friends and families to visit and remember lost loved ones.

Mr Drakeford said: “It has been almost two years since the coronavirus pandemic hit Wales. Too many people have been taken too soon by this awful virus. We will remember all of them and keep them in our hearts and our minds.

“These woodlands will be a permanent and living memorial to all those who have died. They will also be a symbol of the strength the people of Wales have shown over the past two years.”

A range of tree species will be planted to make the woodlands resilient to the changing environment, the Welsh Government said.

The sites are to become part of the National Forest for Wales in the future.

Natural Resources Wales chief executive Clare Pillman said: “Our ambition for this commemorative woodland is for it to become a living, growing area for all the community to enjoy, as well as a quiet space for contemplation as we continue to navigate this most challenging of times.

“As part of the journey, we want to engage with local communities and our partners to plan and design the woodland, shaping with them safe and accessible spaces, where people of all ages can come to remember and reflect for years to come.”

Justin Albert, director of National Trust Cymru, said: “The woodland will be for remembrance and reflection, but also to provide a future green space for everyone to continue that much needed, beneficial connection with the natural world for ever.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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