Green space in Allerton will feature works by local artists inspired by his lyrics
Gregory Robinson -The Guardian
Woodland walk will be built on site in Allerton, close to the suburb of Wavertree where George Harrison grew up. Photograph: PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy
A memorial green space honouring the Beatles guitarist George Harrison is to open in Liverpool next year.
The project, named the George Harrison Woodland Walk, was announced on Tuesday on what would have been the late musician’s 77th birthday. It will be built on a 12-acre site in Allerton in the south of Liverpool, close to the suburb of Wavertree where he grew up.
Liverpool city council and the George Harrison estate will oversee the creation of the memorial, which will feature installations and artwork by Liverpudlian artists inspired by his lyrics. The site in Allerton, which was purchased by the city council in 2018, is currently a mixture of mature woodland and meadow.
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, told the Guardian: “I noticed the green space was owned by a private company and not being used. George was very supportive of all things environmental and all things green. We spoke to his wife, Olivia, and his son, Dhani, about the plans to transform the space into a memorial and they are pleased with what we are doing. We thought it was appropriate to mark his life by making this memorial and by protecting green spaces.”
In addition to being a Beatle, Harrison, who died aged 58 in 2001, was also a keen gardener. The memorial will also feature a “nature classroom” – a space for children from across the region to learn about the environment.
Anderson said: “The nature classroom will be for inner-city children and children who do not have a lot of green space. We want to educate young people in terms of nature and the environment and bring back some green space for the community in south Liverpool.”
Olivia Harrison said: “‘George was an avid gardener who found solace and joy in being in the outdoors. I don’t think there is any better way to commemorate him in Liverpool than with a garden which can become a place of tranquillity and reflection for everyone.”
Liverpool city council is calling for artists to submit ideas, designs and artworks that are inspired by Harrison’s life and lyrics to be featured in the memorial. Anderson said: “There’s lots of opportunity with such a big site and there’s no restriction on imagination.”
Work to transform the site will begin within the next few months. The George Harrison Woodland Walk is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2021.
Anderson added: “It is a respectful way to mark his memory and encapsulate something he was interested in.”