'First of many' healing woods to commemorate Covid announced

Suffolk County Council is to create a new healing woods space in memory of those who died from Covid-19, and provide a...

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 - Credit: Archant

The locations of the first four "healing woods and spaces" to commemorate the pandemic have been announced by Suffolk County Council.

The healing woods and spaces will be located at the Howard Community Academy in Bury St Edmunds, the Oaks Meadow project in Combs & Little Finborough, the Eye Woodland & Wildflowers Project and the former rubbish dump in Hopton.

The healing woods project follows a motion to commit to developing mental health support in Suffolk that was unanimously passed by the county’s councillors earlier this year in response to the impacts of the pandemic.

The four sites will develop unused spaces and existing green areas, in an attempt to make them more accessible and offer dedicated places for reflection.

Councillor Richard Rout, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and environment at Suffolk County Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to identify four suitable locations, the first of many I hope. We will be providing advice, technical support and some funding to help develop these areas.

Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for enbironment and public protection. Picture:

Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Suffolk County Council

“I’ve been extremely impressed by the vision and thoughtfulness of each of these projects. Across them we will see things like new seating areas, sensory gardens, vegetable growing plots, better connections between existing green areas, hedge planting and opportunities for community activities.

“I’m really grateful to the parish councils, local councillors, and volunteers for all they have done to make these projects a reality - demonstrating the fantastic community ethos we have here in Suffolk.

Most Read

“The inspiration for healing woods was as a memorial to those we have lost during the pandemic. These spaces will offer that opportunity for reflection, whilst also showing that nature is accessible to everyone and our mental health can benefit from being in touch with these outdoor spaces.

“Thank you to everyone who has contacted us with suggestions for sites. We’re still hoping to create more sites, and would very much welcome suggestions for Ipswich, East Suffolk, and anywhere else in the county that may be interested. Not every location can be suitable, but we will look into every site, and I hope to be able to announce more soon.”

If you would like to propose a suitable site which could be developed as healing woods or spaces, email HealingWoods@suffolk.gov.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter