2019 presented us with ongoing challenges but we had many notable successes.

Our Guided Walks were again very popular and were well received. The most popular was ‘Untimely Ends’, which probably reflects on society’s insaciable appetite for the macabre and those who sadly met their end this way.

We were successful in securing a grant from the Suez Environmental fund, which enabled us to introduce new garden sleeper edging on the border at the main entrance.

We have now planted 270 tree saplings along the old grassed over pathways, kindly supplied to us by The Woodland Trust as part of their ‘Big Climate Fightback’ campaign. This project has generated a lot of interest, some negative but mostly positive. As the trees grow they will be thinned out and will provide height and much needed greenery to the New Street end of the cemetery.

We are due to receive a further 420 tree saplings, which will be planted to create a hedgerow screen on the southern border, encouraging wildlife to thrive in the cemetery and helping hide the industrial units there.

It is always a huge encouragement when we receive support, and our work mornings team has grown with 4 regular volunteers, which is very very welcome. Our tree planting morning (despite the frosty weather) was attended by 27 people and the help was invaluable, enabling us to complete most of the tree planting. A big thank you to those who helped us.

We have successfully completed another grave restoration. Sir Charles Nicholson’s grave is now ready for his family to visit.

We sadly lost Richard Bell from our committee. Please don’t panic, he retired to concentrate his efforts on his very worthwhile Sand House project and we wish him well. He will still be involved in the work mornings and has promised his help when we get stuck. Richard’s efforts since 2002 have been outstanding and everyone in the local and wider communities has benefitted from his enthuism and commitment in preserving the heritage of the cemetery and we are all very grateful for his work over the years.