Permanent Covid memorial to open in Rotherham on anniversary of first lockdown
A living memorial in honour of the victims of COVID-19, is set to open at Thrybergh Country Park in March.
The memorial, called Hope Fields, has been designed in as a tribute to those who lost their life to the virus, and honour key workers, volunteers and communities for their hard work throughout the pandemic.
Hope Fields will include a memorial art installation, pond and wetland, community orchard, interactive play activities and a new bird hide.
Visitors can remember loved ones by sowing wild flowers or making eco-friendly bird feeders.
The site will open to the public On March 27, to mark the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown announcement.
Councillor Sarah Allen, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for cleaner, greener communities said: “We know people want a range of things from this memorial.
“Some want a place of contemplation to help manage their pain, others want an opportunity to remember and celebrate their loved ones. Some people continue to live with the after-effects of COVID-19 and want a place to rest and recover.
“Our vision is that the natural beauty of Hope Fields will provide a place and a programme of activities that recognise the grief and anxiety so many are feeling, but which also supports those who want to look forward to a happier time. ”
Leanne Buchan, Rotherham Council’s head of creative programming and engagement added: “We want Hope Fields to continue to evolve organically, for the people of Rotherham to be part of that process. It was important to create a memorial that could grow and adapt over time as we collectively recover from COVID-19.”
The designs have been drawn up in consultation members of the public, park users, councillors, MPs, faith groups, council bereavement services, and groups such as Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and its volunteers.