IT is a place of quiet contemplation and solace. The trickling of water from the nearby river and the sound of birdsong bring a sense of peace and calmness.

And nestled in the trees of Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park is the most significant memorial in Scotland for decades – this is I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial.

The memorial’s figures represent supports and are formed by people conveying emotion and feelings at a moment in time. The series of structures will be created in the grounds of the stunning park.

The main focal points will be linked to create the idea of a memorial walk while offering families of those who lost loves ones in the pandemic a place to go to remember and a place to heal.


I remember: Scotlands Covid Memorial, Pollok Country Park

I remember: Scotland's Covid Memorial, Pollok Country Park

Read more: I remember: How you can take part in reflecting through our national covid memorial campaign

Today, The Herald can reveal the first images of what will become Scotland’s Covid Memorial. The design has been brought together by our dedicated artist Alec Finlay and our partners at Glasgow City Council who offered to host the memorial. The Herald also brought in the expertise of greenspace scotland, a charity and social enterprise which promotes green networks and spaces.

Since launching the Covid Memorial campaign last year, the project has brought people together as we unite through shared experiences of the pandemic. Following extensive consultation with communities and individuals across Scotland, we can now reveal our vision for I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial.


Our covid memorial artist Alec Finlay in Glasgows Pollok Park

Our covid memorial artist Alec Finlay in Glasgow's Pollok Park


We reached out to people using the I remember form, a single sentence which reflects how a person thinks or feels, and we received hundreds of responses.

Our aim is to:

  • Create significant memorial sites in Pollok Country Park – the Riverside Grove, Beech Grove, Hillside Grove and Birch Grove.
  • Link 50 oak tree supports to offer the idea of a memorial walk in the park.
  • Provide I remember audio accessed through QR codes on supports. The key message of the memorial, I remember, will be displayed in several languages.
  • Invite those affected to become involved in memorial planting at dedicated sites.
  • Help the memorial evolve to have a satellite concept across Scotland.


Scotlands Covid Memorial centres on the idea of how we have supported one another

Scotland's Covid Memorial centres on the idea of how we have supported one another


We have been humbled by the support and donations to the campaign since we initiated the idea. We have raised more than £60,000 towards what will eventually become the national place to remember. With several high-profile donations already made, including from the Scottish Government, we are urging people to get behind us and show their support once again.

We want to deliver this memorial to the people of Scotland as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives. Our fundraising target is £233,500 to create the Pollok Country Park memorial and we are urging everyone to get behind us.

It is our hope that we will be able to complete the first phase of the project, the Riverside Grove location, for March 2022, to coincide with the anniversary of lockdown which is a poignant time for many families.

In the past 18 months we have received generous donations to help us on our way, but we need to reach our target to create I remember in Pollok Country Park and allow people to have a place to grieve – a place to remember their loved one or reflect on their own story during the devastating pandemic.

Read more: Scotland's covid memorial campaign appoints artist to work on historic project

Mr Finlay said the park gave him a great landscape to work in and was inspired by it when creating the memorial. “When I was invited to create the memorial my feeling was that it had to be on a larger scale and more integrated with nature and very much a work of healing because so many people have lost so much and suffered,” said Mr Finlay.

“I wanted to make a work on the theme of support. How we support one another emotionally, physically, spiritually and the key motif for the Covid memorial is our relationship to trees. We are creating a series of oak tree supports which we made using people making poses of support with trees. All of the designs are based on photographs of people that had been affected by Covid in some way.

“We are going to make 50 of these through Pollok Country Park. Four of them are going to be in groves. One by the river, called the riverside grove, one in a beautiful grove of beech trees and one on the hillside amongst azalea and rhododendron and also a birch grove. The idea is that these will give a focus within the park, but that there will also be smaller, single points of interest throughout the whole of the landscape to allow people to make a memorial walk –remembering loved ones.

“I didn’t want to make a memorial just for people who had died. I wanted also to think about people who had lost their livelihood, lost their work, people with ‘Long Covid’ who have had a very difficult change of life. All of those experiences have been gathered together.”


We reached out to people through the idea of I remember passages

We reached out to people through the idea of I remember passages


Shortly after The Herald appointed renowned artist Mr Finlay and team of Lucy Richards and Ken Cockburn, he revealed how he planned to engage people through the I remember form, an idea developed by American author Joe Brainard.

Mr Finlay added: “People have been sending us in their experiences of the pandemic from the loss of loved ones to the details of what lockdown was like. Many of them talked about the healing that being with nature brought them. All of those things will come together in Pollok Country Park and we would also like to create 50 satellite memorials all around Scotland so the final memorial will be this constellation in Glasgow then a wider series of memorials through villages, towns and landscapes throughout Scotland.”


How you can donate to I remember: Scotlands Covid Memorial

How you can donate to I remember: Scotland's Covid Memorial


Donald Martin, Editor of The Herald, said the significant steps which have been made towards creating the memorial showed the strength of feeling for the project and urged people to support it.

He said: “This is a fitting memorial which will unite people across Scotland as we remember those lost to Covid and those affected by the pandemic. We were humbled by the response to our initial fundraising launch and we hope people will get behind us to help us create this important national memorial. Together we can create a place which will offer a place of comfort and hope.”