You may have felt that not much was happening about the plans to improve the churchyard in recent months, but quite a bit has been going on in preparation work and you will start to see the results of this over the next few months
Pollarding of Irish Yews.
There were popular specimen trees on graves in the 19th century, but many have got too big and are preventing light reaching the ground and damaging other trees.
On the advice of tree surgeons, a number of these will be pollarded (cut off at a height of 1.5 to 2 metres) this winter and next. This may look rather strange at first but it will encourage new growth so that in a couple of years they will be nice small trees.. This will encourage biodiversity and improve sight lines, making it easier to see the church and improving security in remoter areas.
We are waiting for final Council and Diocesan approval to go ahead with this work, hopefully later in the autumn.
Renovation of the Garden of Remembrance (to the West of the Church)
Work to make this a more attractive area and a more appropriate memorial to those whose ashes are interred here has begun. The wooden sign has been removed for renovation and will be replaced in a more prominent site, and an area created for floral tributes to those buried and remembered here.
The North-West bed of the Garden of Remembrance has been dug over and spread with manure which has kindly been donated. It may not look or smell wonderful just now (though the robin really loves it) but it will breakdown over winter and enable plants to do much there next year. And if you can smell it at least that means you probably don’t have Covid!
We hope to pollard the holly trees behind the Garden to stop leaves falling on the area, allow more rain and light to reach the plants and to promote new growth lower down. This also requires permission for which we are waiting from the Diocese, but we hope to do this before Christmas. If you want to put your name down for some holly branches therefore get in touch!
Over the winter the flower beds will be extended into a crescent shape and replanted to make this garden attractive and varied throughout the year. The Rotary has agreed to donate some crocus bulbs which will be planted in the area.
Other planned developments
We are collecting information about those buried in the churchyard, with a view to creating an historical trail. If you know anything of interest about the lives of those buried in the churchyard, or about any of the memorials, please let me know.
We are also collecting information about who is already doing voluntary work in the churchyard and also about which graves are still being visited and tended by friends or relatives, so that next year we can try to start filling the gaps. Please let me or Fr Kevin know if you have anything to add to this data.
Some information about the churchyard ( maps of graves, memorial rolls of ashes buried in the churchyard, a tree and ecological survey) will be posted on the churchyard section of the church website shortly.
It is now possible to make online donations to the churchyard fund, either as a one off gift or as a regular donation, by visiting https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/14420
The PCC has agreed to use some inherited funds for the tree work, and the work on the Garden of Remembrance so far has been done by volunteers and donations in kind, but bigger things we would like to do next year will need funding, so all donations are welcome.
details of what we hope to do next Spring will be posted here in the New Year – much will depend on how the Covid pandemic develops.