GLASGOW City Urbanist Professor Brian Evans has applauded The Herald’s idea to create a memorial garden as a tribute to Scotland’s coronavirus victims.

The designer and landscape architect joined a meeting of our steering group to assist us in exploring how the project can take shape and offer a place of solace for friends, families and the people of Scotland who have come through this global pandemic.

Professor Evans addressed the meeting to offer a valuable input. Part of his role with Glasgow City Council is to contribute to the city’s future development.

Professor Evans said: “This is a strong idea which The Herald has come up with to recognise and commemorate Scots who have died from the virus. It has also been a significant factor in everyone’s lives and this is a way to remember those who have lost their lives.

“It is a chance to recognise the huge efforts made on everyone’s behalf by the NHS and the vast majority of Scotland’s people in trying to contain the virus.”

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Mr Evans, who was previously involved in the Glasgow Garden Festival and led the 2009 redesign of St Andrew Square in Edinburgh as well as several public realm projects, said Scotland has a strong tradition of shared community memorials in our cities and towns.

The professor in urbanism and landscape at The Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh School of Architecture added: “With a memorial such as this people themselves might want to contribute, not necessarily on their own behalf, but would want to make a contribution as we remember what has happened in our community.

“I think there should be a big conversation with the people of Scotland about the setting and tone for the commemoration and to remember that some communities, like Inverclyde for example, have been much harder hit than others. It is good to have a conversation and The Herald is as good a place as any to start that.”

Coronavirus has no boundaries and does not discriminate against who it takes for its victims. It has affected people from all walks of life, backgrounds and ethnicities in Scotland.

Mr Evans added: “It is important that Scotland as a whole is represented and that black and ethnic minorities are included.”

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With the project looking to take the next step towards a design phase, Mr Evans said involving the country’s landscape architects and artists could be extremely useful.

He added: “It is a project that is tailormade for landscape architects and artists to collaborate and it would be interesting to see what designs came from their creativity. It is possible it could lead to some kind of design competition. Scotland was supposed to be at the centre of the climate change debate with Cop 26 in November, which has now been postponed, but I think there is a way that this project and the climate change emergency could go hand in hand.”

Earlier this week our campaign received a major boost with a £10,000 donation from one of Scotland’s foremost philanthropists and entrepreneurs John Watson OBE. It more than doubled the total raised so far towards our £50,000 target.

The campaign has now raised £21,799 since its launch in late May. Our vision is to create a memorial garden to remember the lives of every Scot who has died from the coronavirus.

Soon after the campaign was launched, Glasgow City Council came forward with the offer of a site in Pollok Country Park.

The aim of The Herald’s memorial garden campaign is to create a memorial cairn and peaceful garden as a place where families can go to remember their loved ones.

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 and be a comfort to people who may want to visit.

Early on in the campaign we received a £5,000 donation from Hillington-based business Harry Clarke Group of companies following the death of a close friend of one of their directors.

Jim Russell, from Glasgow, died from the virus in May.

To donate go to: 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. If you can help email