THE MILLENNIUM PROJECT: THE RESTORATION OF ST ANDREW'S CHURCHYARD, CLIFTONRoseMary Musgrave
We have now completed the 5 years which we said CHIS would give to restoring the churchyard, but our work is not yet quite complete. We will be continuing for about one more year before handing over to "The Friends of St Andrew's". We are most grateful for the hard work put in by the small band of voluntary workers who meet once a month to clear and tidy the churchyard. Their work has had a dramatic effect and made the area a pleasure to walk through and to sit in. The thanks of everyone goes to them.
A pair of gates from the Limewalk into the churchyard have been put in at the Fosseway end. These were paid from the donations made by members of CHIS. The fact that one can now walk through is greatly appreciated and many more people go in a look at the gravestones or just to enjoy a little bit of tranquillity. It is encouraging to see the area being used so much more by all age groups.
The drinking fountain at the Fosseway end will be repaired by the City Council. We were told that this would take place in Spring 2003, then in Spring 2004. Maybe it will be done by Spring 2005!
A meeting was held on site in January 2004 with Alison Malcolm (the new arboriculturalist for the City Council). This reviewed the work that has been done and planned the next stage. There will be some further removal of trees. These are either intrusive self-sown, for example some hollies growing out of graves, or ones which have got well past their prime and are likely to become dangerous with branches coming off in winds. There is an ash near the Fosseway which is losing boughs. CHIS pays for some of the removals and the City Council for any which are a risk to the public. CHIS also has a replacement scheme in hand for planting suitable and attractive trees. This has been discussed with the City Council and everyone is in agreement. There will be a Betula pendula on the site of the felled weeping ash by the War Memorial; an Acer campestris or a Carpinus betulus fastigiata on the west side where the Lombardy poplar grew and a Sorbus intermedia to replace the diseased almond near the War Memorial.
This autumn and winter CHIS will also be planting a variety of shrubs in front of the west wall of main graveyard. These will be carefully chosen for display throughout the year and for biodiversity through their flowers and fruit.
The first weekends in October will see a group of volunteers repainting the railings in the Limewalk. This has been organised by Mrs Dorothy Brown. It will make a wonderful difference and is a good community effort.
The roses on the west wall at the Fosseway end, which were donated by Clifton Garden Society, have really taken root and are now beginning to flourish. The area in front of them (which when we started was one huge bramble patch) will have a bed of lavender, rosemary and other sweet smelling herbs and plants. This will be attractive to look at and smell and will be attract insects and butterflies.
We are still unsure about how to proceed with the mediaeval site (beside the War Memorial). Ideally it would be nice to have it cleared and the outline of the church in a low stone wall, or something like that. This would be very expensive to do. Please bring any ideas you have to the AGM.