A memorial garden built for families affected by the crematorium baby ashes scandal has been unveiled.
The space at Hazlehead Park has been named the Rainbow Garden by the group of parents affected who designed it.
Their inspiration came from the song Somewhere Over The Rainbow which was written for the children’s film The Wizard of Oz.
The garden features a stunning bronze sculpture depicting flying birds based in the middle of the peaceful space.
Parents involved in the creation of the special garden were invited for a poignant unveiling last night to give them the opportunity to view the space in private for the first time.
John Birrell, from Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, was present at the launch to represent the families and said they had been heavily involved in the whole process.
He said: “In January 2016, the council had public meetings for parents who had been affected by what had happened at the crematorium.
“Out of that, we gathered a whole list of ideas of what kind of memorial might be appropriate. From that meeting we also formed a representative group of parents.
“They took different themes and ideas to bring it to the plan which is what you see in the park now.
“It was my privilege to chair that group to facilitate those meetings and we worked hard to develop a plan which meets as much of what the parents were after. They wanted this particular site and worked with the designers to make sure they had their own stamp on the plans.
“The whole thing has been led by parents, bearing in mind that they are grieving parents and will always be grieving parents.”
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Work on the garden started in January. It was designed by TGP Landscape Architects and includes an arched entrance and several seated areas in the circumference of a grassed circular area with the sculpture as the main feature.
Families will be given the opportunity to have the names of their loved ones permanently inscribed on plaques.
The garden was designed as a memorial site for families caught up in the baby ashes scandal at Hazlehead Crematorium.
It emerged in 2013 that no ashes had been offered to parents of young children cremated at the site over a five-year period.
A spokeswoman for the working group of parents said: “The design of both the garden and the sculpture are beautiful and have captured what we were looking for.
“We hope parents and other people affected will find the space to be a nice quiet place for contemplation and remembering.”
Artist Maja Quille created the 1.4-metre-high seat of flying birds which was chosen from submitted proposals for the sculpture.
She said working on the project was “emotional”, adding: “The idea of a cocoon came up during one of the meetings, and that stuck with me.
“But then the idea of a bird also came up. It was the thought of being part of a bigger thing, being surrounded by something positive – like a protective swarm.
“I wanted to give the feeling when you’re sitting down on it, you look up – and it makes you feel safe.
“It was nerve-wracking and also quite emotional to be involved with this.
“I’ve been nervous and hope that the parents are going to like it and will be happy.”