Swindon, England
United Kingdom
Stratton Wood Birchgrove Memorial Grove since 1 October 1996
without names
Memorial for HIV haemophiliacs
The lives of more than 1,200 haemophiliacs treated with HIV-infected blood in the 1980s are being remembered in a woodland memorial. The grove of 1,200 trees at Stratton Wood, near Swindon, Wiltshire, is a living monument to those with haemophilia who were infected with the HIV virus - fewer than 400 of whom are still alive.
On Tuesday a two-and-a-half ton engraved boulder was hoisted into place to mark the completion of the project, funded by a support group known as the Birchgrove Group. The boulder, which will be officially unveiled next spring, is inscribed with the words: "Birchgrove. This grove of 1200 trees was planted to celebrate the lives of people living with haemophilia who were infected with HIV."

Tranquil grove
Cherrill Deans of the Woodland Trust, which owns and cares for Stratton Wood, said: "We know that nothing will ever change the past, but we find that people are comforted by having a tangible, living memorial for their loved ones. "A place of tranquillity that anyone can visit at any time often helps people reach closure."
The Birchgrove Group has run as a patient support group for over 12 years and was started by a small group of patients in Cardiff who were infected by HIV. They named themselves after the pub in which they used to meet - The Birchgrove. A spokesman for the group said: "There has never been a public inquiry into how infected blood was used. "There have never been any apologies from health ministers, political parties, doctors or pharmaceutical companies." "The boulder may help many Birchgrove Group members, their families and friends get the keenly sought closure not available through other channels at the moment."
Photo (c) BBC

9 September 2003
BBC, Swindon