Cemeteries as beautiful outdoor spaces

Recently, these pages looked at a charming green space in the heart of Bristol:

The South West’s oldest garden cemetery – Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries

This is ‘Arnos Vale’:

Arnos Vale | Cemetery Services, Woodland Weddings & Events

The cemeteries of the Sid Valley are not quite so resplendent – and yet there is plenty of heritage – especially the Victorian chapels. And there is clearly a lot of potential for our own cemeteries – especially as the Amos Vale site had been pretty much abandoned and remained derelict until a group of dedicated local volunteers pushed to have it restored.

Today, over two decades on, this can provide real inspiration for other projects.

The following is from the Amos Vale end-of-year message. Probably none of the Sid Valley cemeteries would want half a million visitors a year – but there are some possible ideas there…

It’s been a busy year! We were thrilled to be recognised as the most popular free attraction in the South West by Visit England and receive a Green Flag Community Award, recognising us as one of the best outdoor spaces in the UK.

Other highlights from the year include:

  • Over 500,000 people came through our gates
  • 1090 children joined in with 80 activities in the school holidays
  • 940 people came on 90 guided tours
  • 500 children came on educational trips with their schools and clubs
  • More than 300 people donated
  • 260 people joined our online talks
  • 130 volunteers helped on the landscape, in the shop, on our tours and research
  • 24 couples got married
  • We hosted 60 private events in our buildings
  • Thousands of people came to our May Fair and Christmas Market

We love being able to share these moments with you.

Thank you for a great year!
Arnos Vale team

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