Wood of Thanks to mark Covid-19 pandemic
A deal has been agreed to create a community woodland in Malvern to mark the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Madresfield Estate will provide to Malvern Hills District Council an area of woodland next to Goodson Road, by the retail park in Malvern, for an initial 10 year period.
The aim will be to create an enhanced green space for the community to enjoy as well as provide a quiet space for contemplation and reflection.
The Wood of Thanks will act as a natural tribute to the amazing community response to support people through the pandemic, as well as include a memorial area to those who have lost their lives to the virus.
The council will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing the woodland with an initial £20,000 set aside to fund work. It is planned bids for other funding will be made to support the project.
The plan for the woodland includes improving the habitat by clearing more invasive plant species and planting native plants and installation of bird and bat boxes.
The entrance will also be enhanced, benches will be installed, and footpaths extended to allow for more seating and access for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Tall tree stumps will be kept and turned into carving artwork.
Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "We're grateful to Madresfield Estate for their support and agreeing to let us use the woodland. We plan to work with the community to turn it into a very special place for everyone.
"We want it to be somewhere people can come and remember loved ones they've lost as a result of Covid-19 but also as a way of marking the amazing efforts of our NHS, communities and front line workers who helped us through the pandemic."
Jeremy Hill, the Estate Manager for the Madresfield Estate, said: "The Madresfield Estate is delighted to be working alongside Malvern Hills District Council in this initiative, and it is hoped that the woodland will provide an opportunity amongst nature for remembrance, and to reflect on the pandemic and the importance of our local community in meeting such challenges."
Play the video below to hear Cllr Rouse talking about the community woodland project.