Environment in association with the Mirror

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Blackburn Old Cemetery is a 41 acre 150 year old historic burial site and local green space which has fallen into disrepair and is badly neglected. The cemetary is now closed to new admissions (only open to burials in existing family plots) so generates no new revenue for the owners, in the absence of council resource and funding to maintain the site our small volunteer group do what we can with limited resource and little support from the local council body to maintain this large steeply shelved site.

This specific project will concentrate on restoring a large massively overgrown section currently too remote to easily transport tools and waste products generated by the removal of overgrown rhodedendron and self seeded sycamore, bramble, ash and ivy, the restoration will be sensitive to local wildlife such as foxes, deer and birds that frequent the cemetery grounds and will promote beneficial wild plants supporting pollinating insects and bees.

There is an opportunity as part of this project to further encourage community spirit and local ownership through regular 'open' volunteer days working with local people and 3rd sector groups such as police cadets and Duke of Edinburgh award candidates, this involvement will further engender the community pride and social interaction by bringing people together. We also develop our volunteers by providing training and by encouraging them to learn new skills

Already in response to similar work carried out on our weekly volunteer days more local people are now using Blackburn Old cemetery as a place to exercise, enjoy the wildlife and to appreciate and trace their local history (with our help to locate long obscured family plots). Local residents now often come in to maintain their family graves, this project will open up a much wider area of currently overgrown tombs thus encouraging more to enjoy the site as a place of natural beauty and heritage. By improving this area we are encouraging more people to use this green space and get involved.

Any equipment we receive may also be of use to other local community friends groups such as Roe Lee park and St Gabriels church community area, to ensure that this equipment benefits all.

The group has a facebook presence (link provided under website section) which regularly receives positive feedback on the work carried out

Project Video

Friends of Blackburn Old Cemetary (FoBOC)

Moment of Pride

Selfless commitment of the volunteers working tirelessly to clear grossly overgrown shrubs, scrub and trees. The end result comparing before and after and sharing this with the community to enjoy a tidy and organised environment with safe access provided to the resting place of their forebears

Location: Blackburn