Category: Community

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.



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………..


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.


Hard work, but lots of achieved.

We had a great turn out today for our ‘Grave Gardeners’ session. Volunteers drawn from several of our supporting groups , regular volunteers and some new recruits worked from 12 noon till 3pm and cleared a large area on the main drive of small Holly self setters. This was an area that we cleared larger plants from about 5 years ago but smaller saplings had begun to take over again.

After a quick tea break we carried on along the Broad Lane side of the cemetery, removing ground level brambles that were threatening to engulf or young Cherry Trees, taking extra care not to venture near any areas that might hide nesting birds. Our next date should be Saturday 13th April but watch this page for more details.


Grave Gardeners Session

FINAL REMINDER, SATURDAY 30TH MARCH 1pm-3pm- This Saturday the 30th March we will be holding a Gardening Session to try and clear some more Brambles and self set Holly in the Cemetery. Unlike our usual sessions that target large areas of mature Holly and Ivy, we are concentrating on areas where we represent no risk of disturbing nesting birds.

We will meet at the Cross of Sacrifice at 1pm and helpers are free to spend as much or as little time as they wish on site but we will be completing our work by 3pm to allow for the closing of the site at 4pm. We have the tools and some heavy duty gloves but would advise that you wear heavy duty footwear and warm clothing. We will be moving away from the area of the Cross but should be visible in our High Viz. If we are not there, try turning left at the WW1 memorial, passing the fenced area and looking to your right.(Section 38RC)

This map may help.

Cross and Screen Walls repaired and cleaned.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have been busy cleaning and repairing the Cross of Sacrifice and the Screen Walls as part of their maintenance programme. All looking clean, tidy and ready for the 125 year anniversary of the first funeral in Brandwood End Cemetery on the 13th April 1899. (We will be posting more about this anniversary nearer the date.)