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Kind-hearted family creating remembrance wood for grieving Prestonians

Posted on - 12th May, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, People, Preston News
The Bradshaws celebrating Grandma Ivy's 82nd birthday in lockdown
The Bradshaws celebrating Grandma Ivy’s 82nd birthday in lockdown. Dad Andy is centre and daughter Ashley is on the right

A kind-hearted family is creating a remembrance wood for Prestonians who lose loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Bradshaws have donated five acres of land to enable families to plant trees in memory of those lost during the crisis.

The family decided to create Wrea Green Remembrance Wood after seeing the negative impact on people unable to grieve properly due to lockdown restrictions.

Dad, Andy, came up with the idea for the land – which was previously earmarked for house-building – after seeing a photo of a flourishing tree he had last year gifted to a grieving friend.

Since sharing the project on Facebook, the family has been inundated with enquiries from bereaved local people.

Daughter, Ashley, who has been dealing with enquiries, said: “We weren’t expecting it be something so many people would want, but everything going on has clearly impacted a lot of families in Preston and beyond.

“A lot of people who get in touch are very emotional and struggling to get their heads around what’s happening. People aren’t even getting into hospital to see relatives in their final days because of the coronavirus restrictions.

“For many of them it’s about closure, so we’re hoping the remembrance wood will be a way for people to say a proper goodbye – and also to have something beautiful on the other side of these horrendous times.”

Read more: Preston yoga centre fundraising to help people who lose loved ones during lockdown

Ashley’s vision is of a wildlife-filled wood with hundreds of trees that will look bright and colourful all year round.

A path will run through the wood
A path will run through the wood Pic: Aaron Bradshaw

“We have a range of trees that are suited to the area for people to choose from, including apple blossom and silver birch. If people want to purchase a different type of tree that’s fine, as it’s a very personal thing to do. 

“My dad is getting everything moving and helping organise it. He’s getting fences put up and starting to dig holes for the trees with my mum and brother helping.

“We’ve also had so many people get in touch who want to help out.  Someone has offered to grow saplings on their vegetable patch, another person is going to donate wood sculptures, and someone else is making wooden signs for the entrance.

“We want it to be something for the whole community, and for people to feel like it’s their place. We don’t want to decide everything, we’re looking for ideas and involvement from everyone.”

The wood will be created on five acres of land Pic: Aaron Bradshaw
The wood will be created on five acres of land Pic: Aaron Bradshaw

While Ashley expects most people to plant their trees once lockdown is over, some families have already done so while adhering to social distancing measures.

And it’s not just people who have lost someone recently who want to use the wood; others who have been bereaved in the past are seeking a local place of remembrance. One woman even wants to visit the wood with her daughter to choose a spot for the future.

Read more: Village tractor run near Preston lifts spirits as community claps for carers

To find out more, visit the Wrea Green Remembrance Wood Facebook page, or email wreagreenremembrancewood@gmail.com.

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What do you think of the Bradshaws’ idea for the remembrance wood? Would you consider using it? Let us know in the comments.

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