Cherry blossom trees planted across Burnley as memorial to loved ones lost to Covid

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Cherry blossom trees have been planted across the borough of Burnley to commemorate the local people who have lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first tree of 15 trees - one for each ward across the borough - was planted next to Towneley Hall following a multi-faith service there.

The service was led by the Bishop of Burnley, the Right Rev. Philip North and was attended by representatives from Burnley Council, other local organisations and local people.

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Council leader Coun. Afrasiab Anwar said: "We're planting memorial trees across our borough and because Towneley Hall and park is so close to many local people's hearts we felt this was a fitting place to start.


"Cherry trees were chosen because of their bright colours and beautiful blossoms. These trees will be a living memorial to the victims of Covid-19 and a long-lasting and lovely tribute to them."

Burnley Council is planting 15 memorial trees (one in each ward of the borough) in memory of all those local residents who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The planting was an informal affair, but members of the public were invited to attend if they wished. The cherry blossom trees will provide a lasting memorial.

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Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service (BPRCVS) was proud and honoured to have the Gannow Community Centre Community Garden chosen to have a tree planted in memory of local residents.

Coun. Charlie Briggs planting one of the treesCoun. Charlie Briggs planting one of the trees
Coun. Charlie Briggs planting one of the trees

On Friday, Gannow Community Centre saw the planting of a cherry blossom in the community and memorial garden. Despite the downpour there was a good turnout of around 14 people to help with the planting.

Alan Barnes, Gannow Community Centre coordinator, said: "The cherry blossom tree was planted in memory of anyone who had passed away since the start of the pandemic. It has created a focus point for loved ones.

"Already we have two rose trees planted in our garden for loved ones lost plus a white lily and a weeping cherry blossom tree donated by a neighbour as a thank you to BPRCVS Gannow Community Centre for the help and support that she received during lockdown.

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"The white crosses we provided are there for people to add their names of loved ones."

Two white crosses have been done in memory of Christine Graham and John Milton Clough, and we have also been contacted by another lady who wants her father’s name added.

Local councillor Charlie Briggs attended and helped with the planting. Amanda Graham, a volunteer at Gannow Community Centre, and her daughter Chloe also helped plant the tree as Chloe’s grandmother has a cross there. We were also joined by Gabi Cox and David Lang who both volunteer in the garden. Several members of the public turned out too.