Council begins programme for borough-wide reflection on the pandemic

13 April 2022

Cheshire West and Chester Council has started to implement a programme of reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic, which will provide communities with spaces to reflect and opportunities to share their experiences.

The first phase of the programme will see COVID-19 reflection areas created in parks across the borough, involving a reflective tree planting and associated landscape design.

The work has been commissioned by the Mersey Forest team working together with the Council’s Greenspaces team.  Planting is now taking place over the next three months in the following locations:
  • Castle Park, Frodsham
  • Grosvenor Park, Chester
  • Winsford Marina
  • Stanney Fields Park, Neston
  • Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port
  • Marbury Park, Marbury
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said:

“We have all been through the most challenging of times and this project will provide opportunities to reflect on how the pandemic impacted us all. It has brought sadness and grief, but also hope and determination as communities came together to support each other.

“These lovely reflection areas will provide beautiful spots to take the time to pause from our busy lives and reflect on all our experiences over recent years. A chance to think about lost loved ones but also to celebrate all those people who went above and beyond, in the most difficult of circumstances, to help others.”

Trees have been selected that flower in spring, between March to May, to reflect the time when the effects of the pandemic first reached the UK. Plants and trees with white blossom, stems or bark will create a theme for the reflection areas. Shrub and bulb planting will also extend the flowering season to create beauty all year round.

The project has received a funding contribution from the Trees for Climate programme. The greenspace reflection areas will be followed by a targeted cultural programme of creative engagement with residents.

Councillor Gittins added:

“The Council is keen to first map what has already been done within our communities and within the Council to reflect and capture experiences of the pandemic, then wants to work closely with communities across the borough to find out how they would like to record their own reflections and see these presented.  More details on the project will be announced soon.

“This programme is first researching how the pandemic has impacted on Cheshire West’s communities. It will then appoint suitably experienced artists to work with residents from the summer onwards to choose how they would like their experiences of the pandemic reflected creatively.  This programme will run until early 2023.”

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