New tree trail to provide memorial to those who died due to Covid-19

This story was published 3 February 2023

A new tree trail is being introduced across North Yorkshire to act as a lasting memorial to all those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic and to thank people for contributing so much.

Cllr Carl Les, taking part in the tree planting ceremony at County Hall

Eight trees are being planted across the county, including at County Hall in Northallerton.

The first two planting ceremonies have now taken place and six more events are planned during the next six weeks.

The tree-planting scheme has been led by staff in our health and adult services directorate, which includes the public health and adult social care services. Staff in our tree and woodland service bought the trees, which include Japanese Elm, Sweet Chestnut, Columnar Mountain Ash and Common Walnut, from a garden centre in Leeming Bar.

Our staff as well as colleagues in North Yorkshire’s district and borough authorities, the voluntary and community sector, housing and care providers and the NHS will be attending the tree-planting ceremonies.

Trees were planted yesterday (Thursday, 2 February) at County Hall in Northallerton, and the Meadowfields Extra Care housing scheme, which is owned and managed by Housing 21, in Thirsk.

Council leader, Cllr Carl Les, took part in the planting ceremony at County Hall.

Cllr Les said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for many people, both in North Yorkshire and far beyond.

“It is important that we all remember those whose lives were lost and those who made enormous sacrifices to help others through the worst of the pandemic.

“Our communities became known as ‘Team North Yorkshire’ because of the great efforts put in, both by professionals and members of our many communities.

“North Yorkshire is a very large county and it is appropriate to have a trail at different locations to act as a marker for those who wish to remember others. Together, they form a memorial across the county, which will flourish for generations to come.

“We are also grateful to the partners who have helped facilitate the locations for these trees, where they will be seen and appreciated by the communities around them.”

Further tree-planting events for invited guests are planned at the Fernbank Court Extra Care scheme in Selby, which is operated by a housing provider for older people, Anchor, and the county council-run Station View care home in Starbeck, Harrogate, on Monday, 13 February.

On Monday, 20 February, ceremonies will be held at the county council’s Aireville Nurseries, which provides day services in Skipton and where the tree will be visible from the park, and Sycamore Hall, which is operated by Housing 21 that provides accommodation for older people, at Bainbridge.

The final round of planting takes place on Wednesday, March 15, when ceremonies will take place at Scarborough’s Cedar Court Extra Care complex, which is also operated by Anchor, and at Deansfield Court Extra Care, which is owned and managed by Yorkshire Housing, in Norton, Malton.

More than 1,700 people have lost their lives linked to the Covid-19 pandemic in North Yorkshire, according to the latest data from the Government.