Category: Environment

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.



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.


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.)


Another new visitor to the cemetery

Array4hogs, Hedgehog Rescue, have been working with the Friends again and we are pleased to introduce our latest new resident- Stevie. She is now up to weight and ready to be released again into the big wide world. Our thanks to Sharon for all her work with Hedgehogs locally. Please do try and make your gardens Hedgehog friendly and take care when strimming and having bonfires etc. Most of the arrivals lately have been badly hurt by strimmers.


Toilet issues.

We have received lots of comments that the toilets in the cemetery were all locket over last weekend.  Bereavements have explained that the person locking the cemetery on Friday evening does not usually do Brandwood End. The area that they usually do requires the toilets to be locked to prevent vandalism.( Luckily we do not suffer with that at Brandwood End.) They dutifully locked everything! Whoever then opened up at the weekend had no idea the toilets were locked…..and so they remained over the weekend!  Apologies, but hopefully this was a one off.

  • Incidentally, the wonderful photo was taken by a regular in the cemetery… Gary Staples.


New Tree Walk leaflet launched.

The Friends are so pleased to get the support of our local Tree Officer, Steve Flood, for our new TREE WALK LEAFLET…… even if he then got distracted looking at the trees!

We really value his input and the fact that he keeps us in the loop when tree work is due. You will find the leaflet boxes attached to both our notice boards at the two entrances.

As the leaves make an appearance we will be organising a Tree Walk led by one of our tree loving supporters.