ST ANDREW'S CHURCHYARDRoseMary Musgrave
This was to be a 5-year project and as it entered the 7th year, it was agreed to cut the number of working parties from one each month to one every quarter. As always we are very grateful to the regular few and those who come in for shorter spells. Without this work the restoration would not have been possible. We are also grateful to Clifton Garden Society for their donation of a rose which has been planted on the west wall. It has been a pleasure to take groups round, including CHIS. There is so much of interest in both the graveyards.
Unfortunately we were not successful in our application for a Your Heritage grant for the restoration of the medieval site (behind the War Memorial). The hope had been to raise enough money to pay for the clearance and then have the outline of the church replaced either as a low stone wall or in hedging of box or yew. We will try for a smaller grant which would cover the clearance and then think what we will do with the outline. We cannot do the clearance ourselves because some of the bushes have a trunk diameter of more than 6 inches and Health and Safety regulations do not allow non-professionals to do this work. If we are not successful with that grant, there is still enough money from donations to pay for this to be cleared.
During the last year the area on the east side by the wall of the Bishop's House was cleared and acers will be planted there. We have not been able to do this yet because the City Council cut off the water supply at the request of Bristol Water and 5 months later it has not been reconnected. Some of the shrubs that we had planted died in the drought. In previous years we have been able to go in and water them. The newly planted trees did better. The Sorbus intermedia at the south end has flowered well and has a fine show of berries. The Prunus avium, planted directly behind the splendid old cherry in the centre of the Lime Walk, is flourishing and will be a good replacement when the inevitable day comes and the big tree has to be removed.
However, it is not all gloom and doom. The scented bed on the east side has done well under the care of David Speller. The rosemarys and lavender attracted many insects and there has been a significant increase in the number and variety of butterflies, which is exactly what we wanted.
The Council has made some, not very satisfactory, repairs to the fountain. This will be monitored and the matter raised with the Council if necessary.
It has been a year of taking stock of how we can work fewer days but maintain the necessary 'cosmetic' work. It seems to be satisfactory, but more volunteers even for only an hour or so on the days of the working parties would ensure that the ivy does not grow over the graves again.