Cherry trees to be planted in Burnley parks in memory of Covid victims

Special cherry trees will be planted in a borough’s parks to remember residents who died from the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 7:00 am
Queens Park, Burnley

Burnley Council’s Executive authorised spending £3,000 on the commemorative saplings which will flower each spring to mark the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown..

It is part of a wider £18,000 tree planting to combat climate change agreed by the senior councillors.

The cherry trees will be placed in Ightenhill Park, Padiham Memorial Park, Queens Park, Scott Park, Thompson Park and Towneley Park.

The plan was devised by the council’s Cross-party Climate Change Working Group.

A report to the Executive said: “We recommend the allocation of £18,000 from the Climate Change budget towards woodland and commemorative tree.

“The schemes will contribute to the objectives of reducing CO2 emissions and carbon sequestration.

“The River Ribble Trust has launched a decade-long Lancashire Woodlands Connect campaign to plant more than half a million trees in Lancashire to fight climate emergency, improve air quality and reduce flooding and remove 100,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

“The cross-party group wishes to link the spirit of tackling climate change through tree planting with remembrance of those who have sadly passed away from Covid in the borough.

“We recommend an allocation of £3,000 which to plant a flowering cherry tree in each of the six main parks in partnership with the park friend’s groups, which will help co-ordinate the planting ceremony in each park.

“The cherry trees will flower in late March/early April, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic. Each tree will have an inscribed stone tablet and be planted around with native daffodils.”

Working group chair and Green Party councillor Andy Fewings said: “We thought it would be a really nice thing to have some commemorative trees that could be planted in parks and give people who may not have been able to give the send off to loved ones that they wanted to somewhere to go and remember and pay their respects and grieve in a way they might not have felt able to do at the height of the pandemic.”

Coun. Sue Graham said: “I am particularly keen on the commemorative tree scheme because those cherry trees will allow people to remember the 300 plus Burnley residents that have lost their lives.”