Welcome to the first newsletter of the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries project!


Firstly, welcome to all those who have joined the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries mailing list – and if you’re not on it but would like to be, please get in touch:

Contact us – Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries

A big thanks to all of those too who have joined in the various meetings of late – including the public session at the Cemetery on Saturday 13th, which has hit the front page of today’s Herald!

Meeting hears concerns about maintenance of Sidmouth Cemetery | Sidmouth Herald


The meeting with the District Council’s Streetscene at the Cemetery this week [including its new Operations Manager Julia Woodbridge and Horticultural Officer Paul Fealey] made it clear that the ‘neglect’ of the Cemetery last year under the previous management should not have happened – as it had been agreed by all parties back in 2020 to follow a new Management Plan for the Cemetery.

As was said at the time:

“We hope that if a good compromise can be reached which can give families a peaceful sanctuary to care for loved ones’ graves, whilst encompassing nature at the same time, it will be a very positive outcome.”

Managing wildlife in Sidmouth Cemetery – Vision Group for Sidmouth

What was decided at the site meeting with Streetscene this week is that the agreed-to Management Plan will be carefully adhered to for this year:

EDDC Management Plan 2021-25 – Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries


HOWEVER: After considerable discussion between Streetscene officers, representatives of Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries and of the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group – it was also decided that during this year all the stakeholders will be encouraged to suggest any alterations to the current Management Plan.

Adaptations would include access to specific graves and specific areas of the Cemetery; allowing for specific ‘wildlife corridors’; new cutting regimes and removal of grass cuttings in specific areas – to name but a few distinct points in the plan.

The Streetscene officers and team were very open to suggestions on improving the management of the Cemetery over the ensuing months and would welcome further active dialogue as the Management Plan is put into action and as is reviewed as an ongoing process over the year.

And on the basis of this review, a new Management Plan will be put together for 2025.


It was also agreed that the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries group would set up a regular working party of volunteers to help in the maintenance of the Cemetery.

Tasks would include the removal of grass cuttings, taking back brambles, keeping verges/paths/entrances clear and other such jobs – with Horticultural Officer Paul Fealey acting as guide and mentor for the volunteers – and with the FOGG project acting as a good example of how such a working party can successfully operate:

Friends of Glen Goyle

The first meeting of the CSC working party will take place at the Cemetery as of 9.30am on Thursday 25th January.

All are welcome – and do bring strong gloves, secateurs and a grass rake if you can!

In terms of insurance, this will be covered by the Vision Group for Sidmouth’s insurance policy. Plus, the District Council will be doing a Health & Safety audit and other such measures – which the volunteers will not need to worry about!

Thereafter, the intention is to hold a regular Thursday morning working party at Sidmouth Cemetery, starting 9.30am and continuing for as long as volunteers wish to stay!

Thank you again to everyone for showing interest in this project: let’s hope we can all take it forward over the coming weeks and months… and years!

From the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries team