A magical place to take in the birdsong of Pollok Country Park and remember a loved one, is one of the hopes landscape architect Rachel Smith has for The Herald’s Garden of Remembrance.

Today we can reveal a possible location of a memorial garden in the stunning park to remember the lives of every Scot who has died from coronavirus. It comes as we marked an important step in our fundraising mission to raise £50,000 for the memorial. Already more than £2000 has been kindly donated by members of the public.

The memorial will mean different things to many people who visit, but one hope is that the garden can bring people together.

The Herald: Memorial garden site at Pollok ParkMemorial garden site at Pollok Park

Just days after we launched our campaign last month to create a memorial cairn and garden, Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer a site at Pollok Park in Glasgow’s south side.

Read more: Herald campaign: Memorial would be a humbling project to work on, says Glasgow artist

It is a park steeped in history and was gifted to the city. Now it will have a legacy as the home of a national memorial to those who have lost their lives to coronavirus. We want to create a cairn with a stone representing the life of every Scot who has died from the virus.

It comes as the park is due to undergo a transformation, ahead of the Burrell Collection reopening next year, and the memorial garden will have a special place in it.

Woodland accessed from the north east entrance to the park known affectionately as Rhododendron Avenue was one suggested location.

The Herald: The Glasgow park will be the location for the memorialThe Glasgow park will be the location for the memorial

Rachel Smith, landscape and architectural services, at the council’s parks development said: “We had been having a look at how we were arranging some of the woodland assets. We were looking at how we can really create this idea of a day out for people and to see different attractions within the park.

“We thought about how it would be nice to have day out and encourage people to explore the park and discover some of the quieter spaces which is how we thought of an area for the memorial garden.

“When I think of a memorial, it allows a moment in our day for a quiet time and some of the gladed areas around the woodland allow that. You might discover them while walking to another part and stop to hear the birdsongs in Pollok Park and it could be a magical moment.”

Read more: Herald Campaign: Memorial garden will be a place that brings some comfort and solace, says Scots Makar

Ms Smith added the space is large enough space so that people could be with their families.

She added: “There is enough space for people to have their own moment and not be disturbed by what is going on in other areas of the park. The woodland area is a special part of the park and it will be lovely to have more people discovering that in time.

“We had seen it as a space that if there is seating, it would be a good location and would allow for additional seats as well.

“One idea is having somewhere with a bit more open surroundings and there might be a chance for wildflowers to grow.

“Public projects I have worked on in the past have brought groups together. Planting an area can be a very meaningful thing to do as a group or to remember someone they have lost and to mark that moment.”

Ms Smith added: “The magic of Pollok Park is that it can offer something to everyone. It truly is a space we are lucky to have in our city. When people are involved in something like this, they feel a sense that they have contributed to that special place and it means something to them and their family."

Glasgow is spoilt for choice when it comes to parks, with 92, and is affectionately known as the Dear Green Place.

“We see that right across our city that there is a real affection for their parks and real willingness to get involved to come together and look at how we can use them and become active," added Ms Smith.

“We hope that families will find the memorial garden a special place. My hope is we bring forward some proposals for a memorial where people will be able to discover its atmospheric character and be an incredible space of countryside in one of our parks. Given recent restrictions people have been discovering parks closer to their homes maybe more so than before. The role parks have to play in lockdown were really quite unique."

To take the forward project we announced that a steering group was to be set up. Our latest member to join is George Gillespie, Glasgow City Council's executive director of neighbourhoods and sustainability.

He said: “The grief caused by the Covid-19 emergency is a story that often goes unheard and so it’s right that we start to look ahead as soon as possible to recognise the loss that’s being felt.

“Being asked to join the group tasked with creating the memorial is a great honour and I look forward to working with colleagues on a project of such national significance."

Four other members are Rev Neil Galbraith, of Cathcart Old Parish Church, in Glasgow. It was a memorial cairn in his own church which inspired our idea. Other members are Fiona Arnott-Barron, chief operating officer, of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, Dave Allan, The Herald Magazine’s gardening writer and Ally McLaws, who runs his own media and business development consultancy and is a former NHS communications director.

To donate go to: gofundme.com/herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG. Cheques should be made payable to The Herald.

If you want to get in touch, email us memorialgarden@theherald.co.uk