If you follow us you will know that we are growing a Forest of Memories to remember the loved ones lost because of Covid-19. A Forest created with love for those we have lost today, and built on themes of sustainability, accessibility, and education to benefit future generations.
You will also probably have picked up that the Forest of Memories has a duel purpose of remembering the loved ones lost because of Covid-19 (including helping those that are bereaved), but also ensuring that everyone impacted in many different ways during this Pandemic are remembered.
The Forest of Memories will be planted in remembrance of all the loved ones lost. But, it will also be in acknowledgement of the ordinary people who continue to overcome adversity and personal challenges during the pandemic. Challenges of loneliness, mental health, and much more were all existing (and sometimes hidden) issues, but these (and many more) have all been highlighted by the pandemic and lock-down measures.
So how will we achieve that?
This challenge was given to us during our Consultation period. We were told that the Forest should be for everyone lost because of Covid-19 (from the virus, or from lockdown measures), and recognise the impacts on many different groups that we lived through during a full lockdown (and are living) through. This is a tough challenge of course, but to achieve that goal we have crafted an idea for the Forest of Memories that we calling ‘The Groves of Reflection’.
We hope you like the concept, but please do give feedback on Social Media or at the bottom of this post to let us know what you think.
A Journey Through The Forest Of Memories
The Groves of reflection will take visitors to the Forest of Memories on a journey through the forest. On one level, this will be a journey through themed groves and gardens with sculpture to enjoy. On a deeper level, the Groves will allow the visitor to contemplate issues in life that we are confronted with individually and as a society through our own life journey. These are all issues that were highlighted in different ways during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The aim of the Groves of Reflection is to allow us all to remember those people impacted in different ways during the Pandemic. But, more than that, the design will help visitors contemplate the journey from birth to death that we all will take, and one that all the loved ones remembered in the Forest of Memories will have traveled in their own lives.
As the journey through the Groves is taken visitors will be able to see the names of loved ones lost on plaques along the forest paths. If they wish, they can stop and use their smartphone to see pictures, videos, and other memories shared of those loved ones through the unique Memory-Trees we are creating in the Forest of Memories. In this way visitors can both enjoy a walk in a forest and the Art around them, and (if they choose) think about and remember the real people impacted by this pandemic.
We are all born as a child of nature and our journey through the Groves of Reflection starts with considering the environment, and questions central to our relationship with it as humans. The journey will take visitors through other aspects of life we experience as we grow. The end of the journey at the grove of ‘Love & Loss’ will symbolise the termination point of life. This leads to the key reflection we can make within the Forest of Memories.
Groves of Reflection Themes
You can read more about the Groves of Reflection and the themes of each Grove in our Forest Plans section of this website.
Supporting charities and art
For each of the Grove of Reflections, we will be partnering with a selected charity that is relevant to the theme of each Grove. This will help them communicate their message, obtain donations for their charity, but also help ensure that the content created for each Grove carries authority and can help people in the right way engage with the issues covered.
Each Grove will also contain a sculpture on the Groves theme. To create these sculptures we are planning to commission a national art competition that will run with a significant prize awarded to the winning entrants for each Grove. This will support artists, the arts and also ensure that the Forest of Memories is also a Forest of Art.