Author: Jane Edwards

Tree Husbandry in Brandwood End

Over the next few weeks and months you may hear the hum of chain saws and notice the felling of some mature trees in the cemetery. We are all sad to see any tree removed but they all have a limited life. That could be determined by the species of tree or by outside influences such as fungal infections, beetle infestations, disease and weather.

Most of the mature trees in Brandwood End  were planted over 125 years ago and some predate that. Unfortunately- or fortunately, as a public space the trees are regularly checked by the Tree Officer to make sure that none are at risk of falling and causing damage to graves or worse still….people. The Trees Officer spoke to the Friends some time ago, as the recent survey had highlighted quite a few trees needing attention, and where possible they will be trimmed etc but some are beyond those measures and will have to be removed.  This is necessary work and whilst it is sad to see trees removed we are pleased to see that they are being surveyed on a regular basis. (Those that ask about budgets, this is a Health and Safety issue and funding must always be available for that.)

Allied to this project we are discussing possible use of some of the timber removed for ECO projects and also looking a raising funding to replace those trees lost and so maintain a good tree stock for future generations.

Please take care if Tree Surgeons are working in the cemetery. Its interesting to watch but not from too close!

Litter Pick

A busy weekend for FBEC. Gardening on Saturday 1st and then our quarterly  Litter Pick on Sunday 2nd June. This is a quarterly event and usually well attended. Remember to bring stout footwear and gloves and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

We have had a few windy days lately so no doubt there will be lots of flower paper blown around the cemetery so please come along and help us keep it tidy for visitors.

Meet opposite the Lodge, just inside the main gate, at 10am. we finish at 11.30 am.


Grave Gardening Session

We will be holding another Grave Gardening session on Saturday 1st June and welcome everyone, with or without green fingers! We do suggest that you wear boots and bring gloves and whilst we do have gloves and tools, we understand if you prefer to bring your own. The most useful will be loppers, shears. secateurs rakes and brooms. We will be working in the Civilian Garden but meeting at the Cross of Sacrifice on the main drive at 11am. The session runs till 2pm but feel free to go when you wish.



Bat Walk

Brum Bats, the Ranger service will be leading a small Bat Walk from Jasmin Fields to Brandwood Pool via the cemetery on Tuesday 28th May. There will be very limited places and we ask that you please book via the link below so that the numbers can be controlled. Unfortunately the walk will not be able to take place if numbers exceed the ticket limit.

Bat walk booking form.



Great Gardening last week

Three teams working in the cemetery recently. Three ladies trying to give the Rhododendrons a chance on the main drive as they were choked with brambles.

Team two were freeing our recently planted perimeter trees from a tangle of very long and strong brambles.

Team three were tidying the Civilian Garden and laying rock salt on the paths to clear weeds.

Thanks to Malcolm for taking charge.  We also have to add our thanks to Gill for treating the pathways in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance with Rock Salt to get rid of the weeds.


Anzac day Remembrance

The 25th April is known in many countries as ANZAC Day. Events are held in Australia, New Zealand, the U. K., Ireland and many other countries to honour those who served in this ill fated campaign of the First World War. Many of those who served made the ultimate sacrifice.
Join us to commemorate Gallipoli/ANZAC Day in the “Second City” on
Sunday 21st April 2024, 2.00pm (meet at the Cross of Sacrifice on the main drive).
Brandwood End Cemetery, Woodthorpe Road, Kings Heath,
Birmingham, B146EQ.
Following a brief service there will be an opportunity to learn more about the burials linked to this event in Brandwood End. (Stout footwear is advisable).

Volunteer work recognised.

The chart below shows the number of volunteer hours worked  in Birmingham by Friends groups attached to various open spaces. ie: Parks, cemeteries, recreation grounds etc.

Its lucky that volunteers generally enjoy their work and get a lot of satisfaction out of it- but they manage to save Birmingham Council millions of pounds. Imagine if you added ALL the volunteer hours in all sectors together………..


Saturday 13th April 2024 will be the 125th anniversary of the opening of Brandwood End Cemetery.

The Cemetery

A Brief History

On 13 April 1899 George Tallis, Chairman of the Cemetery Committee, opened Brandwood End Cemetery, which was administered by Kings Norton Rural District Council. With the extension of Birmingham’s boundaries in 1911, the cemetery came under the administration of the Birmingham City Corporation. The cemetery was gradually extended over the years and is now some 53 acres, 2 of which were sold in 1919 to the Jewish Community. A portion of this small fenced area is now a burial area for Muslim members of the local community.

The grounds are a fine example of a Victorian landscaped cemetery with avenues of Scots Pine, Cypress and Wellingtonia. This magnificent planting earned the cemetery a Grade II listing in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England in 2001.

The cemetery has Gothic style mortuary chapels, which were added to the statutory list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in 1997.

Happy Birthday Brandwood End !


Today the Friends held their 19th annual AGM. Where has that time gone?

What a lovely morning with some of our supporters. It was made even better by cake and coffee (Provided by Vice Chairman Coral)  with a chance to chat and also a chance to thank members and everyone that supports us.

Our committee members are now:-

Chairman             Julia Griffin

Vice Chairman    Coral Howard

Secretary              Jane Edwards

Treasurer             Julian Pritchard

Philip Brown, Gill Price, Tricia Winspur, Lisa Fair and observer Malcolm Jacques. (Some of our committee members appear in the lead photograph. )

We have had a very busy year and trust that this will continue into what will next be our 20th anniversary AGM.