A new community woodland has been officially opened in Barnet to provide a living memorial and reflective space for residents and visitors to remember lost loved ones.
The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Moore, joins Mill Hill Councillors Laithe Jajeh and Elliot Simberg, council officers and local residents to open the Barnet Memorial Woodland
Community groups and teams from Barnet Council were joined by the Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Alison Moore, on Thursday 3 November to officially open Barnet Memorial Woodland to the public.
The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Alison Moore, said: “We’d like to thank all the residents and community groups involved in this project for their ongoing support. This is a living memorial that will develop and grow, so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, said: “This wonderful new woodland will boost biodiversity in Barnet and build our climate change resilience. It’s a great place to visit and getting out in greenspaces and nature has proven mental health benefits. We hope this woodland will provide a great place for people to reflect and find peace from the hustle and bustle of life in a big city like London.”
The woodland offers way to remember lost loved ones, including those who died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1.5-hectare site at Mill Hill Park was planted in November 2021 with help from local community groups and school children. It is made up of more than 500 native trees and shrubs and can be found just off Flower Lane. A combination of species was chosen for the site to support biodiversity in the area, including hornbeam, wild cherry and alder.
At the centre of the new woodland is a more established hornbeam tree, located in the middle of a specially-commissioned memorial bench. The memorial bench was developed and designed with Barnet residents, who were invited to submit inspiring quotes and thoughts to be featured on printed panels within the bench. In addition to featuring colourful panels with comforting quotes and facts about the biodiversity of the woodland, the bench also features arm rests cast in the shape of different leaves which can be found in the wood.
The Barnet Memorial Woodland from above
The bench and hornbeam tree at the centre of the Barnet Memorial Woodland
Close-up of the bench at the centre of the Barnet Memorial Woodland