More than 50 years ago the citizens of Glasgow benefitted from the gift of the beautiful surroundings of what was then known as Old Pollok Estate.

Home to the Maxwell family for more than 700 years, it was donated to Glasgow Corporation in 1966 by Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald, including Pollok House, with the condition that it remained a public park.

And now today another lasting legacy has been given to the people as Glasgow City Council confirmed they are making a site in Pollok Country Park available for The Herald memorial garden campaign to those who lost their lives in Scotland to coronavirus.

The Herald’s vision is to create a memorial cairn and a place where families can go to to remember their loved ones lost to the global pandemic. Every Scottish victim of coronavirus will be remembered.

It is hoped the site will be a place for people to be alone with their thoughts or reflect on the lives of people who have died.

Read more: Herald campaign: Creating a place to remember Scotland's coronavirus victims

The idea stemmed from a cairn which was created by Glasgow minister Reverend Neil Galbraith for bereaved families. And a memorial now has a lasting place in Cathcart Old Parish Church.

When The Herald launched the Garden of Remembrance campaign on Tuesday, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken and Lord Provost Phil Braat pledged their support.

Today we can reveal the council has agreed to come on board to help our campaign.

In a joint statement from both Councillor Susan Aitken and Lord Provost Phil Braat said: "“We’re delighted to be able to work with the Herald to find space for a memorial garden.

“As one of Glasgow’s best loved parks, Pollok Country Park is a fitting location to remember those we have lost. Although it’s near the city centre it has plenty of quiet space where people can go to remember and hopefully find some solace in nature.

“As Glaswegians we are lucky to have easy access to great parks whenever we want. But this will be a location for people from all around the country to visit. As well as receiving a friendly welcome they will find Pollok Country Park easy to get to with all the facilities they’ll need.

“Nothing can bring back the people who’ve been taken from us by covid, but this garden will be a place where their loved ones can find some peace.”

Read more: First Minister shows support for Herald memorial garden campaign

Donald Martin, editor of The Herald, said the site gift was a tremendous boost to the campaign.

He said: "The wonderful gift of space in Pollok Country Park for a garden of remembrance is a fantastic boost to the campaign and I am sure will be much appreciated by all those who have sadly lost loved ones to the virus. It is a wonderful and fitting location and we can’t thank Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life enough for their quick and generous response.

"The way the public and organisations have rallied round the idea has been truly humbling and we look forward to progressing plans for the space with a cairn at its centre."

Already our campaign has received backing from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and has received cross party support.

Yesterday we revealed how Ms Sturgeon said she was “instinctively supportive” of remembering those lost to the pandemic.

The First Minister said the country as a whole would want to pay tribute to those who died and honour those in the frontline fighting the disease.

She said: “The garden of remembrance proposal is exactly the kind of thing I would be instinctively very supportive of.

“I know that at an appropriate time we will want as a country to remember and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to this virus.

“We will also want to appropriately recognise all of those who have made a contribution to tackling this virus.

“I think it’s really important emotionally for all of us, as well as for the sake of those who have suffered direct loss, that we do that.

“So yes, in general, I would be supportive of that.”

Our campaign is also backed by Scotland’s other main party chiefs Scottish Conservatives’ Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Labour’s Richard Leonard, Scottish LibDem’s Willie Rennie, and Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie.

Reverend Mark Johnstone, of Glasgow Cathedral backed our campaign saying he is "only too aware of the need to facilitate a time of remembrance when we feel we have seen an end to this current threat."

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