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Covid memorial trees planted across the High Peak

Dedication plaques mark the memorial oak trees.

Every community has felt the impact of Covid and having dedicated places to reflect and remember lost loved ones is an important part of the recovery process.

In the High Peak, the borough council said it wanted to provide a lasting legacy to recognise and acknowledge all the ways in which people have experienced the varied effects of the pandemic.

In the spring, it was announced that memorial trees would be planted to offer individuals and communities special places to visit and spend quiet time in remembrance.

And during National Tree Week last week, the best time of year for planting, 13 oak trees were planted in locations across the borough.

On Norfolk Square in Glossop, Councillor Damien Greenhalgh and Mayor Councillor Paul Hardy were joined by Shirley Woods-Gallagher who said her dad’s dying wish was to have an oak tree to remember him by.

High Peak Mayor, Councillor Paul Hardy, said: “Too many people have sadly lost loved ones as a result of the pandemic and every community in the High Peak has been affected in some way by Covid.

“Having places to visit to pause, remember and reflect is so important as we heal and recover and it’s something we knew we wanted to provide for local people. Now it’s tree planting season, we’ve been able to get these trees in the ground for people to visit and spend some quiet time at.”

The trees are all marked with a plaque of dedication and are in the following locations: Buxton – The Slopes; Buxworth and Chinley – Derwent Square, Chinley; Chapel-en-le-Frith – Chapel Memorial Park; Charlesworth and Chisworth – Charlesworth Recreation Ground; Gamesley – Roman Gardens; Glossop – Norfolk Square; Hadfield – Bankswood Park; Hayfield – Valley Road Recreation Ground; Hope Valley – Hope Cemetery; New Mills – High Lea Park; Tintwistle – War Memorial; Whaley Bridge – Memorial Park; and Wormhill and Peak Dale – Peak Dale Memorial Gardens.

At the Slopes in Buxton, Executive Councillor Fiona Sloman with the Buxton tree.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: “All of us benefit from spending time outdoors and amongst nature and many people plant trees to remember loved ones.

“These trees are a focal point of remembrance for communities across the Borough. I’m sure people will have their own favourite locations that are meaningful to them and their loved ones and I hope these special places offer solace in the months and years to come.”

High Peak Borough Council say the locations of the trees have been chosen in liaison with parish and town councils where appropriate.

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