Reminder of an interesting blog…

The blog via this link was written in 2014 on the Birmingham Conservation Trust Site but is still worth reading as a reminder. Very little has changed apart from the number of War Graves , as the number listed reflects purely those in ‘Commonwealth War Graves’ – Many are buried in family graves and more are discovered every year when we undertake our placing of Poppy Crosses. At this time we place in excess of 320 Crosses remembering the fallen. This years Remembrance Service will take place on Sunday November 11th starting at 10.50am.

Their name liveth for evermore: Brandwood End Cemetery

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More evidence of the tree problems spotted by the Tree Safety Survey.

The top two photos show cross sections of a couple of the Poplars removed along the Broad Lane boundary. The log pile represents the trees that have been removed and cut into sections. All of these logs will be chipped and used as Biomass to fuel power stations- nothing will be wasted.

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Civilian Garden spic and span again.

Nesting is now over for this year- so we have been able to restore/cut the hedges in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance back to their neat and tidy state.

Our thanks to the staff from Idverde who have undertaken this task on our behalf. As  the hedge is now mature cutting and shaping it represents a major piece of work. It is now beyond the Friends so we rely on assistance to keep everything ship shape.

The Friends still cut and maintain the hedge in the adjacent small War Graves area.

 

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Heritage Open Events 2018

Hi all, as you hopefully all know- the Friends will be working with Bereavement Services to host a morning Heritage Event in the Cemetery on September 8th commencing at 10am. The link below takes you to the official site where you can check out everything in your area and plan your week visiting Open Events. We are listed !!

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting

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Heavy kit employed to remove trees!

 

Visitors were treated to an amazing sight as contractors began removing a large  number of Poplar trees that were very close to houses on Sunderton Road.

 

 

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Reasons for tree removal vindicated.

Things are often not what they seem….especially when it comes to trees. Our relatively healthy looking Poplars were hiding a potentially dangerous secret!

The ‘heartwood’, or centre of the trunks, on several trees was rotten. This is obviously something that can’t be seen by eye- but is one of the major things that the Tree Officer will have arranged to be tested. I photographed just a couple of examples…..but there were several.

I will also post some photos of the ‘kit’ and the felled trees as it was a hive of industry. It has opened up the back of the adjacent houses and must make a difference to their light?

Lets hope this great tree husbandry continues with the planting of interesting and suitable replacement trees in the not too distant future.

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Removal of Black Poplar trees

Those of you that are visiting the cemetery this week, or who live adjacent to the cemetery in Sunderton Road, will be aware that there is a lot of activity on that side of the cemetery. As we posted earlier, a number of large Poplar trees are being removed as they are now reaching the end of their life and the Tree Officer felt that, for safety reasons, they need to be removed.  This is part of the tree husbandry work that has been happening in the Cemetery with trees being ‘crown lifted’, felled and trimmed.

It is hoped that these trees will all be replaced in the coming financial year with a number of unusual more suitable specimen trees, in line with the initial planting. Brandwood End has in excess of 1700 trees, many of which are unusual and were planted over 100 years ago. The Friends hope they can encourage an ongoing replacement programme by the City, as trees reach the end of their life. As usual the stumbling block will be finance!!

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Civilian Garden

Following our adventures with the shears…..we moved on to a bit of weeding and pruning in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance. No shears in use on this hedge as it is now mature and used by nesting birds!  Hopefully they will all have fledged soon, as the hawthorn hedge is desperately in need of smartening up but we must remember that the prime reason for this hedge was to increase biodiversity in the cemetery.

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Haircut for small War Graves area hedge.

In Brandwood End Cemetery we have over 320 War Graves but, close to our Civilian Memorial Garden, we have a small enclosed area of War Graves.  A couple of years ago local school pupils helped plant a hedge around this area, which is now finally taking shape.  As you can see, it needed a bit of a tidy up so members of FBEC (Committee and members) got their shears out and set to.

 

 

 

 

A couple of hours later…….. and you can see a real improvement !

 

 

 

 

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Sad Chapels…..

We are all a little sad to see the chapels seemingly in one of the worst states since the formation of FBEC.  The Friends are continually trying to find a solution to halt this deterioration but we are very much in the hands of the owners, Birmingham City Council.  Until a sustainable future use for them is found that is acceptable to BCC, and to grant providers,  I am afraid we are going nowhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can all see the huge amount of shrubbery both out of control around the chapels and also on the tower. This makes us so sad as, despite years of effort, we have still got nowhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Friends will continue  their efforts in all other areas of the cemetery but our main aim remains to try and bring about a solution to halt the continued deterioration of these marvelous Victorian Terracotta Chapels.

Can we add that none of this reflects on the Ground Staff and administration for the cemetery who, like us, are equally sad and unable to resolve this issue but continue to maintain the rest of the cemetery as well as resources allow.

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