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Have your say on new ‘healing’ woods in Suffolk in memory of those who died from Covid-19

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 October 2020

Suffolk County Council is to create a new healing woods space in memory of those who died from Covid-19, and provide a space where people can reflect or grieve. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk County Council is to create a new healing woods space in memory of those who died from Covid-19, and provide a space where people can reflect or grieve. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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People in Suffolk can have their say on plans for a ‘healing’ woodland space in memory of those who died from Covid-19, with a new survey having been launched.

Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection has urged people to take part in the survey for the healing woods. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILRichard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection has urged people to take part in the survey for the healing woods. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

And council chiefs behind the scheme say the potential locations are to be identified in the new year.

In July Suffolk County Council unanimously agreed to establish ‘healing woods’ in the county which would enable people who lost loved ones to Covid-19 a space to grieve or reflect on the pandemic.

MORE: Memorial woods to be created in Suffolk for those who died from Covid-19

A survey has now been launched online for people to share their thoughts and preferences on what they would like to see.

Among the questions people can answer are whether they believe there should be multiple woods spread across the county, and whether it should be on existing public ground.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for the environment, who put forward the motion in the summer, said: “With Suffolk’s healing woods we will all have access to natural spaces, where we can reflect on our own experiences of the pandemic, or take a quiet moment to grieve for loved ones.

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“Nature’s calming and peaceful influence is shown to improve our mental health and can reduce stress and anxiety.

“We are currently living through a time of great loss and disruption, and the effects of Covid-19 will be a part of all our lives for many years to come.

“We’ve already had a really positive and personal response to this project, and whatever your background or beliefs, nature offers a place for all to reflect and remember.

MORE: What is the Suffolk 2020 Fund?

“It’s really important to me, to hear from as many people as possible about how and where a healing wood will have the most positive impact for them.”

The survey will run online until November 25. The council will then collate and publish the results with a plan for the next steps.

The council has already committed £228,000 from its Suffolk 2020 Fund to plant 100,000 trees across the county, including replanting hedgerows, creating 10 community tree nurseries and improving roadside grass verges.

Visit the website here to take part in the survey.


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