RESIDENTS in St Albans will be walking through Highfield Park in memory of mental health patients who were housed at hospitals formerly located on the land.

On Sunday, May 9, Mayor of St Albans Chris Oxley will officially start the walk in aid of patients of Hill End and Cell Barnes mental health hospitals and Mind Mid Herts.

Before Highfield Park was created 13 years ago, the area was used by the two large mental health hospitals.

More than 1,000 patients were buried in the hospital cemetery, which is now part of the park. These patients were buried in pauper's graves, which means their graves are without headstones and the money raised will be used to install a memorial commemorating those buried there. The one-mile walk is open to families, who are asked to donate £5 or collect sponsorship money, as the route is pushchair friendly.

Anna Cohen, the park's manager, said: "It is very sad to think that more than 1,000 people were laid to rest here and yet there is nothing commemorating their lives; the trust realises this must be very distressing for relatives".

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