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STAPLEHURST CHURCHYARD - All Saints’ Parochial Church Council

By Staplehurst Parish Council Staplehurst Parish Council

Wednesday, 10 July 2024


Staplehurst Parish Council Contributor


We are fortunate in our village to still have an open Burial Ground. Many village Churchyards are full, leading to closures with burials now managed by a Parish or Borough Council cemetery.

In the 1970s, the then Rector, Trevor Vickery, and Parish Council made a formal agreement. The Parochial Church Council would provide land for Churchyard extension, manage burials, and receive a maintenance grant from the Parish Council. This agreement, though revised over time, remains the foundation of our Churchyard management. The Churchyard has been expanded three times, making it larger to care for. The Church receives a grant for grass cutting, hedge trimming, and tree work from the Parish Council.

Last year was challenging when our long-time Churchyard caretaker, Graham Smith, retired. After a thorough selection process, Living Forest was approved by the Parish Council at the end of 2023. Under Graham's care, the Churchyard adopted a more environmentally friendly approach, allowing some areas of wildflowers, spring bulbs, and daffodils to be cut less frequently. This change resulted in a beautiful display of primroses, primulas, and daffodils in spring, although they may look unkempt before being cut down to ensure regrowth. The north side of the Churchyard boasts stunning white oxeye daisies when in bloom, now left uncut by Living Forest to maintain the natural beauty. There has already been a result towards biodiversity with the appearance of Orchids and a tremendous increase in both bees and Butterflies in this area.

Living Forest were very keen to build on the work that Graham had started and where there are wild blooms they are leaving it uncut for a while. Areas that struggle to produce even the small common daisy are cut.

Currently, Living Forest maintains the Churchyard monthly, keeping the extension and eastern boundary neat. The grass growth has been rapid this spring, prompting consideration to adjust the cutting schedule for optimal maintenance. As summer approaches, areas with wildflowers will be tended to without affecting next year's blooms. It's important to note that contractors do not cut anything within individual grave plots.

Volunteers play a significant role in Churchyard upkeep, participating in workdays to assist with maintenance. Regular rubbish collection has been affected due to personal reasons, posing a challenge in keeping the Churchyard free of waste. We are moving forward in addressing this.

While adapting to these changes and a new contractor, we appreciate your understanding and patience. Achieving a tidy Churchyard within budget may take time, but we are committed to working together towards this goal

All Saints’ Parochial Church Council

Contact Information

Staplehurst Parish Council

  • 01580 891761

Find Staplehurst Parish Council

Parish Office, Community Centre, High Street, Staplehurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 0BJ