The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives around the world, but each individual community was radically altered in its own way.  

The Remembering Together project, funded by the Scottish Government and led by greenspace scotland, seeks to create a unique moment of healing for communities across Scotland, by working with artists, creative organisations and residents in each of Scotland’s 32 Councils to create local memorials.

For Dumfries and Galloway, greenspace scotland is working with DG Unlimited and Dumfries and Galloway Council, and commissioned artists t s Beall and Katie Anderson. DG Unlimited is a membership organisation for Dumfries and Galloway's creative and cultural sector.

The artists have been working with communities across the region since Summer 2022. They explored with community members (speaking to over 835 of the region’s residents) how people best wanted to honour those affected, and how the region should remember the pandemic.

From these initial discussions, one of the main themes the artists heard was the way lockdown heightened our innate need to spend time outdoors.

A prominent idea communities wanted to explore in the memorial was a focus on connecting with nature, and our renewed appreciation for green spaces. They were interested in a memorial that is equally a testament to biodiversity and sustainability.

As a result, The Dispersed Memorial Forest will involve planting four hundred trees across five sites in Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Moffat, Sanquhar, and Stranraer.

The goal of the Memorial Forest is to not only honour those that were lost to Covid in Dumfries and Galloway, but also to preserve the collective memory of how people from the community came together during the pandemic. 

The artists t s Beall and Katie Anderson have been working with woodland management company Tree Surv on both consultation and delivery of the project. They have visited each of the sites alongside community partners to help identify the best types of native trees that will suit each site’s conditions. 

An important aspect of the project is to consider the future impact of the Dispersed Memorial Forest: how the project will continue to grow and change into the future leaving a legacy for years to come.

Although not representing individual names, the four hundred trees planted will be a collective remembrance of those who died from COVID 19 in the region, alongside additional trees to acknowledge other losses, and things we learned during the pandemic.

Whilst exact dates are being confirmed locally, planting of the Dispersed Memorial Forest will take place throughout February and March with the help of volunteers and key workers.

In addition to the five sites identified for the Dispersed Memorial Forest, there will also be community events in all five locations, and a permanent archive sharing stories from the community. 

Members of the public are warmly invited to connect with the project, comment on the works and ideas in development, and to volunteer and get involved in helping to plant trees and co-designing aspects of the Community COVID Memorial for Dumfries and Galloway.

Residents in Dumfries and Galloway can complete a google form here:–GetInvolved 
You can also get in touch and help shape the Community Covid Memorial for Dumfries and Galloway by e mailing mailto:[email protected]


Project social media: Facebook @rememberingtogetherdg | Instagram @rememberingtogetherdg
| Twitter/X @covidmemorialdg

DG Unlimited

Image credits: Colin Tennant, Remembering Together
Image of t s Beall and Katie Anderson by Colin Tennant