“What a difference a few hours of volunteering can make!”

Ian Gregory, chair of the Vision Group for Sidmouth, has the privilege of putting together a monthly piece for the Herald – and this month he focussed on the work happening at Sidmouth Cemetery – and what a difference it’s making!

Volunteers transform Sidmouth’s neglected cemetery

What a difference a few hours of volunteering can make!

Since the Vision Group for Sidmouth established a subgroup, Cherishing Sidmouth’s Cemeteries, late last year, volunteers have come together to attack the mass of cut grass that is choking Sidmouth Cemetery.

A few hours of work so far have achieved great results. Already the cemetery is showing signs of a return to an environment where it is pleasant for those visiting graves, and at the same time ensuring that wildlife can flourish.

© Amanda O’Carroll

Of course, there is much more to do, and additional volunteers are always welcome. It was great that the local Scout group also participated in the volunteering effort and made a great contribution to managing overgrowth such as brambles and three-cornered leek.

The Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries initiative is a great example of how small things can make a big difference. Years of neglect can be addressed by a group of determined local volunteers who wish to improve their local environment.

© Amanda O’Carroll

This is surely a template for other initiatives. It is sometimes all too easy to wait for the authorities to take the initiative, but local pressure and volunteer commitment can be a tool to encourage those with ultimate responsibility to act. We are grateful for the support that the East Devon District Council has given to this initiative and look forward to working with their Street Scene team to ensure that the cemetery is managed carefully and sensitively.

© Amanda O’Carroll

If you are interested in volunteering, please see our website www.cherishing-cemeteries.vgsidmouth.co.uk and https://cherishing-cemeteries.vgsidmouth.co.uk/contact-us for further information.

Volunteers transform Sidmouth’s neglected cemetery | Sidmouth Herald