Contemplation area created at Brooklands Park in Worthing to remember people lost during COVID-19

An aerial photo of the 19 silver birch trees which have been planted at Brooklands Park contemplation area

Silver birch trees planted at post-pandemic contemplation area

With so many residents affected by the pandemic, Adur & Worthing Councils have created a contemplation area in Brooklands Park where people can remember, heal and move forward from the last 2 years.

Put together by the Councils’ park rangers, the space features 19 silver birch trees which have been planted by people and groups that have had a significant positive impact on our communities in this time.

As well as supporting a diverse amount of wildlife, the silver birch symbolises new beginnings and protection. The trees have been positioned to create a circle to represent the circle of life.

The contemplation area site, located near the amphitheatre at the north of Brooklands, is also being used to celebrate the work of community champions and volunteer groups who helped our residents through the pandemic.

Representatives invited to plant a tree at the site

One of the representatives invited to plant a tree was Western Sussex Hospitals Chief Nurse Dr Maggie Davies. Dr Davies said: “It was a privilege to attend, in recognition of the tremendous community response to the pandemic.

“I am so incredibly proud of our staff and all they have done to care for patients during such a challenging time. The teamwork across our hospitals, and across broader NHS services, has been remarkable and is something I will never forget. As we look ahead, planting a silver birch tree in commemoration and as a symbol of new beginnings, feels particularly poignant.”

Local councillors, representatives of South Central Ambulance Service’s patient transport team, Samaritans volunteers, members from the Councils’ bereavement team, Sompting GP Dr Shona Schofield and volunteers from Lancing vaccination centre also took part in the plantings.

The Chairman of Adur District Council, Cllr Stephen Chipp, said: “It was an honour to help plant a tree to commemorate and provide a reminder for those lost during the Covid crisis. I hope over time this area can be used for quiet contemplation for those families and friends of lost loved ones.”

The Mayor of Worthing, Cllr Lionel Harman, said: “It’s nice to come here today to be involved with this project to commemorate those that helped us all out during the COVID crisis. What better way to show our support and appreciation than planting a tree?”

Members of the public are invited to visit the contemplation area, whether they wish to remember a loved one or to show their appreciation to those who have gone the extra mile.

Park rangers from the Councils will closely manage the site, with there also being plans to add colourful bedding plants and potentially seating at a later date.

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