New tree trail a ‘lasting memorial’ to those who died in pandemic

The tree, close to Aireville Park, is part of a new tree trail, including one at County Hall, Northallerton, which is also meant as an acknowledgement to all those who made ‘enormous sacrifices’ during the pandemic, which started in March, 2020.

Councillor Michael Harrison from North Yorkshire County Council, planted the Skipton tree at the county council’s Aireville Nurseries, which provides day services, and where the tree will be visible from Aireville Park. He was joined by Richard Webb, corporate director for health and adult services, representatives of Craven District Council, as well as public health and social care colleagues, and members of the Stepping Stones project.

The tree-planting scheme has been led by staff in the county council’s health and adult services directorate, which includes the public health and adult social care services. Staff in the council’s 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.

Council leader, Cllr Carl Les, who planted the first tree in the trail at County Hall, Northallerton, 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.”

He added: “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.”

Altogether, eight trees have already or will be planted across the county including at Extra Care housing schemes.

More than 1,700 people in North Yorkshire died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest data from the Government.

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