Thurso baby loss tree plan gets go ahead by Highland Council
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The planning proposal for a sculpted tree in Thurso to help grieving parents come to terms with the loss of a baby has been accepted by Highland Council.
Thurso Community Council agreed to co-ordinate the planning and assist with the project on behalf of the Vilomah charity which was set up this year to support bereaved families in Caithness and North Sutherland.
Tracey Ann McGeachin and Christine Hoggett, co-founders of Vilomah, said in a joint statement: "We are dedicated to bring a memorial Tree of Tranquility to honour all the babies that have died before, during or after birth to Caithness as previously planned during our volunteering with SiMBA and will be working in partnership with SiMBA to make this a reality."
The tree will be life-sized with copper elements and sculpted leaves will be attached by grieving parents with baby names, a date of birth or a message. It will be sited at Lady Thurso Gardens, in the town's Rose Street, which aptly acted as a garden of remembrance following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year.
A consultee comment on the council's website stated that the "Conservation - Historic Environment Team" had no objections to the sculpture within the gardens but noted that it should be well-secured. "We would also have preferred to see natural trees being planted, to enhance the biodiversity of the site, but the provision of public-art should nevertheless be an enhancement to the character and appearance of this conservation-area garden," it further stated.
The Vilomah charity is specifically for the Caithness and Sutherland area and will continue to host the annual Butterfly Release and Wave of Light as previously done by SiMBA volunteers. Tracey Ann and Christine say they will be working in partnership with SiMBA to make the Tree of Tranquility a reality. There is a Facebook page with more info.
To help with funding for the project there is a charity dance at Mackays Hotel in Wick on Saturday, November 25 at 7.30pm and priced £20. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Vilomah Facebook page.