Helpers sought to take care of two cemeteries

Volunteers, left to right, Eleanor Woodcock, Penny Munday, Rebecca Woodcock, Steven Paffey and Rita Markey.

Volunteers, left to right, Eleanor Woodcock, Penny Munday, Rebecca Woodcock, Steven Paffey and Rita Markey.

Matthew Carscadden

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VOLUNTEERS are needed to help preserve the natural beauty of Havant’s cemeteries.

The Havant Cemeteries’ Project needs people to help create wildflower meadows, plant native spring bulbs and trees, build bird and bat boxes and clear overgrown vegetation.

The project takes care of the New Lane Cemetery and the Warblington Cemetery.

The Conservation Volunteers’ community project officer Rachel Moroney said a group of about eight people meet on the last Tuesday of each month and work at either of the two cemeteries.

She said: ‘It’s all about increasing the wildlife value of the cemeteries while maintaining them as a nice place for people to come and visit and walk around.

‘We do things like bulb planting, wildflower meadow management and cutting back brambles.

‘Just yesterday we planted two rows of lavender to form a mini-hedge to mark where the children’s section is within the cemetery.

‘We provide all the tools the people need – the hand saws, loppers, secateurs, rakes and spades.

‘We also provide tea and coffee to the volunteers.’

Ms Moroney said the project started in June 2012 and was paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

She said maintaining cemeteries was important to people who had friends or relatives buried in them, as well as to the wider community and wildlife.

Ms Moroney said the cemeteries were a haven for birds including green woodpeckers, blackbirds and blue tits.

She said: ‘They’re important for wildlife because in town centres there’s not many green areas.’

Ms Moroney said the areas also attracted butterflies and wildflowers including field scabious, ox-eye daisies and poppies.

If you are interested in volunteering, call (023) 8040 2593 or e-mail hampshire-bat@tcv.org.uk.

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