The main drive of the cemetery was a riot of colour today as Crocus flowers and Snowdrops vied for position in the sunshine.
The Cemetery was looking good for Mothering Sunday and the constant stream of vehicles carrying relatives visiting their mother’s and grandmother’s graves were a testament to the amount of visitors that Brandwood End still receives.
This Sunday, 6th March, the Friends of Brandwood End will be carrying out their usual quarterly litter pick, but you may have noticed that it falls during a special event weekend. This weekend is ‘Clean for the Queen‘ weekend when local residents are encouraged to work together to rid their area of litter.
The Friends will be meeting at the Lodge on the main drive at 10am so please come along and help. Normally we will finish at about 11.30am. This is a chance for us to promote FBEC on one of the busiest days in the cemetery and for you to enjoy a stroll around this beautiful green space while collecting any litter you may find.We have had some windy days so we are sure there will be lots of blown flower paper around!
We do have a number of ‘litter pickers’ but please bring your own if you have them. Stout shoes and gloves are also advisable.
Tomorrow, Sunday 6th December, sees the last litter pick of 2015 in Brandwood End. Please come along and support us if you can. The windy weather means that there will be plenty of litter blowing about! Meet at the Lodge at 10am. Pickers etc will be provided but stout footwear and gloves are recommended.
FBEC joined with Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust and the Park Rangers to organise a family event based around Hedgehogs. Despite on and off rain, nothing distracted all the mums and dads and children from enjoying the activities. Watch this space for news of further events centred around Hedgehogs and Brandwood End Cemetery. Well done Rachel and Jan for keeping the 25+ children and 12+ adults occupied!! The children spent a lovely afternoon bug hunting and hedgehog habitat spotting as well as drawing or making their own hedgehogs.
Half term is nearly here and the Friends of Brandwood End, supported by Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust and the Park Ranger Service and holding a Hedgehog Day during Wild About Gardens week at Brandwood Pool on Tuesday the 27th October from 2-4pm (The pool lies at the bottom of the cemetery site or access via Whittington Close B14 6JW)
Come and discover more about these favourite creatures and how to make your garden Hedgehog friendly. Fun for all the family with bug hunting,crafts and lots more!
We also want your views on our proposed project to survey the Cemetery and create improved habitats for Hedgehogs.
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
One of our members pointed out that the hedge surrounding the Civilian Garden of Remembrance had suddenly shot up….despite being cut well back in June so three of the Friends took the shears to the top on Saturday morning! It looks a little better now. We hope to do its final cut just before the Remembrance Day event, so it looks spick and span that day so we will be appealing for assistance nearer that time.
Whilst on site we gave the new hedge, surrounding the adjacent War Graves, a quick cut as well but it hasn’t started to thicken up yet. We are still always looking for people who visit the cemetery and have spare time to weed under the hedge on both sites. What needs doing is fairly obvious!
We are afraid that the Friends and Brandwood End Cemetery will not be holding an event during this years Heritage Open Week as we currently lack the capacity to deliver an event to the standard of the one you may have experienced last year- but fear not! We hope to be able to participate on site next year and instead, in celebration of our 10th year as a Friends Group, we have installed displays in Kings Heath and Druids Heath Libraries that we hope you will enjoy.
Can we thank the staff at both libraries who have helped us in this venture and seem happy for our displays to stay in place for several weeks.
At Kings Heath Library we were able to add some historic photographs from the early 1900’s provided by the staff (from library archives.)
Quick reminder….Bat Walk with ‘Brumbats’ on this Thursday evening the 10th. Starts from farm gate to Jasmin Fields on Bayston Road,ends at Brandwood Pool. 7pm for instructions and then leaving towards canal across Jasmin Fields. Wrap up warm, stout footwear- bring a torch!!
Please let Dean the Ranger know if you want to come.0121 675 0937. Under 16’s must be supervised.
‘Heritage Stone Access’ began work this week to clear shrubbery and re-fix loose and fallen masonry on the chapels, in an effort to slow deterioration pending funding being available to undertake renovation work.
As we all know, money is tight in Birmingham City Council and therefore renovation of the chapels remains some way off. (The majority of grant applications would demand match funding as a minimum from the site/building owners- BCC)
Bereavements Department are keen, along with the Friends, to try and keep the Chapels from deteriorating further during this lean period so have engaged a reputable company, with a good history of work on heritage buildings, to carry out various works. This includes making the building ‘pigeon proof’. (Large amounts of pigeon poo have already been professionally removed!) Shrubbery has also been sprayed with weed killers and partially removed.
Those eagled eyed visitors to the cemetery will have noticed that since the pigeons have been denied access to the buildings they have taken to roosting on the tower and creating quite a mess! Whilst on site the contractors will also be re-fixing masonry that has fallen (as seen across). We all watch with interest.
The Friends are in discussions with Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust to be the linchpin of a community Hedgehog survey in Brandwood. The project would hopefully involve the training of local residents to recognise Hedgehog activity, improve habitat, encourage ‘Hedgehog friendly gardens’ and generally raise the profile and understanding of wildlife within the cemetery and beyond.
The Hedgehog used to be a common sight in many peoples gardens and within Brandwood End Cemetery……but when did you last see one? With help, we hope to discover if they are still thriving in this area and if not, why not- and what could residents do to encourage a growth in the numbers of this endangered species.