FILE PHOTO: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
A NEW public garden will be created at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to commemorate Londoners who have lost their lives to Covid-19.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday(27) said that 33 blossoming trees, one for each London borough, will be the centrepiece of a new public garden which will commemorate people, including key workers, who have lost their lives to the pandemic.
The lasting living memorial, with support from Bloomberg, will be the first planting in a National Trust spring blossom campaign to be launched in 2021. It targets to plant 20 million trees over the next decade.
The garden will be in the borough of Newham, which has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic and was home to the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCeL exhibition centre.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our city and our country, and while we continue to battle the virus we are creating a lasting, living memorial to commemorate those who have lost their lives, pay tribute to the amazing work of our key workers and create a space for all Londoners to reflect on the experience of the pandemic,” said Sadiq Khan.
“The pandemic has changed our capital forever. It has disproportionately impacted many of our communities and exposed and widened inequalities in our society. This public garden of blossom trees will be a permanent reminder of the lives that have been lost, a tribute to every single key worker, and a symbol of how Londoners have stood together to help one another.”
The trees will be planted in three rings – a central ring of 17 trees, and two smaller rings of nine and seven trees – in the north of the park early next year.
The Edible Bus Stop and Davies White Landscape Architects have been chosen as the designers and landscape architects of the memorial and Rosetta Arts have been chosen to work closely with the community on its development.
Local artist Junior Phipps will be collaborating on the design of a path and public benches.
Nicola Briggs, director for London & the South East from the National Trust said: “Over the next few years we want to do more to bring beauty and nature to urban areas. This space will thrive and become more beautiful as the trees grow and become part of their surroundings.”
Jemma Read, global head of corporate philanthropy, Bloomberg L.P said: “We hope the blossom garden will provide all Londoners with a space to honour the memory of those we’ve lost to Covid-19, acknowledge the efforts of those who worked to protect us and reflect on the lived experience of the pandemic that connects us all.”