Work to make Sidmouth Cemetery a more welcoming place which respects past loved ones while also creating a wildlife haven has begun.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) held a special meeting and a tour at Sidmouth Cemetery on Thursday, 18 January, following a number of complaints received about the maintenance of the site.
An army of amazing volunteers have stepped forward to offer their time and support, allowing EDDC to continue its work within the community, mowing pathways, keeping areas neat and tidy, whilst also encouraging biodiversity and wildlife wildflowers and bulbs.
Among those who attended the meeting were The Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries group, Sid Valley Biodiversity Group and Sidmouth Town Council, which will be working closely with EDDC on this joint initiative.
EDDC is welcoming feedback from anyone who is interested in the maintenance of the cemetery, encouraging people with suggestions for specific improvements to email email@example.com.
Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC’s portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said:
“The previous arrangements, regarding the maintenance of this cemetery, were agreed ten years ago. The complaints received have created an opportunity for us to further build relationships within the community.
“Joint initiatives, with volunteers, to help keep our parks, gardens and open spaces looking lovely have worked brilliantly in other areas of East Devon. We are so grateful for all the help and assistance of these volunteers, who have agreed to help maintain areas, like Sidmouth Cemetery, appropriately.
“Our officers will be having regular meetings with the interested groups to feedback any public concerns the council receives and address them on a case-by-case basis.
“We want to hear from people if they would like to make any suggestions for the team to consider and where appropriate, changes can be made. We want to balance space for nature and the sympathetic management of the grave spaces so people can visit their loved ones.
“Thank you to everyone who attended this meeting, for their time, patience and input – especially the amazing Sidmouth volunteers who are giving up their own time to help ensure this cemetery is respected and remains a welcoming resting place for those wanting to visit their loved ones.
“In the meantime, we would like to thank residents and members of the public for their ongoing patience.”