A MIGHTY oak tree will stand in lasting tribute to the NHS heroes of Middlesbrough's Covid-19 response.

And it's also one local Councillor's contribution to a drive to plant thousands of new trees across the borough.

Longlands & Beechwood ward member Cllr Joan McTigue paid for the oak from the allowance she receives as a committee chair, and is dedicating it those who have put their own lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr McTigue was joined by operatives from Middlesbrough Council's Area Care team to plant the tree on the field opposite The James Cook University Hospital on Marton Road.

And in the new year she plans to install a plaque explaining the tree's significance, and the town's gratitude for the work of those on the front line.

Cllr McTigue said: "We have never had a year like this in my lifetime and I hope we never have to live through one like it again.

"I wanted to plant this oak tree as a commemoration of the tireless work and sometimes terrible sacrifices made by NHS staff in caring for those afflicted by this dreadful disease.

"They've put their own lives on the line to look after and protect us, and as a town we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.