Joined: 21 Sep 2007
|Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:36 pm Post subject: CWGC – UK Scattered graves survey
|Found this on the ‘News’ section of CWGC site from earlier this year. I'm sure there are quite a few plots out there in Scotland which will meet the criteria for CWGC help in maintaining them.
Improving horticultural standards in the United Kingdom
More than 170,000 Commonwealth war casualties are buried in the United Kingdom in almost 12,500 churchyards, civil cemeteries and other burial grounds. Most of these war graves are in locations not within the Commission’s control and this means that achieving fitting and consistent standards of horticultural maintenance can be a real challenge.
The starting point
For horticultural maintenance, war graves in the United Kingdom have until now fallen into one of three categories:
‘Full Specification’ plots
At present there are about 400 war graves plots in the United Kingdom, accounting for around 20,000 graves, where standards of excellence are achieved in exactly the same way as they are in cemeteries in our exclusive care throughout the world, with fine cut grass, roses and herbaceous borders. These plots are maintained either by our own gardeners or by appointed contractors.
‘Turf Only’ plots
There are approximately 100 war grave plots where borders cannot be maintained for specific reasons: dense shade, severe exposure or, more usually, the unwelcome attention of wildlife such as rabbits or deer. These plots are entirely given over to turf which is mown regularly and the overall appearance is that of a very well maintained area.
This category covers the great majority of war burials in the United Kingdom and a wide variety of circumstances, from single isolated graves to groups of fifty. Often scattered among civil burials, little more than basic care to ensure tidiness and accessibility is possible for the isolated graves. Typically, this work is carried out by the church or local authority. The larger groups offer greater possibilities, however, and we are looking at them afresh to see if more can be done.
Our United Kingdom Area is now undertaking a survey of war graves in the ‘scattered’ classification to identify groups of ten or more where improvement might be possible. These groups will then be renovated, rough grass replaced with fine turf, herbaceous borders and roses established, and a contractor appointed to carry out regular maintenance to bring them up to standard.
The assessment and improvement work is expected to be undertaken alongside regular inspection and will take up to three years to complete. The result should see a significant increase in the number of plots maintained to ‘Full Specification’ in the United Kingdom.