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Shropshire
Friday, February 23, 2024
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Shrewsbury’s Longden Road Cemetery awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant

Longden Road Cemetery, a Victorian burial ground in Shrewsbury, has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Shrewsbury's Longden Road Cemetery
Shrewsbury’s Longden Road Cemetery

The funding will be used to restore and interpret heritage and enhance biodiversity within the cemetery, while fostering deeper engagement with residents by opening up the cemetery for an array of heritage and nature-based activities.

Longden Road Cemetery is managed by Shropshire Council and is already recognised as a Local Wildlife site, The cemetery receives ongoing support through practical conservation work provided by the Friends of Shrewsbury Cemeteries. The Friends group are known for their dedicated fortnightly volunteer conservation work in the historic section of the cemetery.

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Sue Adams, Friends of Shrewsbury Cemeteries Chairperson, expressed her delight:-

“We are thrilled with the three-year support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for our Heritage to Inspire project. This funding allows us to hire a part-time project manager who will oversee the initiative.

“Through monthly guided walks, talks, wildlife explorer days, and family activities, we aim to showcase the remarkable biodiversity in the cemetery. The project will provide new volunteering opportunities for local people to come and make a positive difference to wildlife, create innovative interpretation and education materials, collaborate on outreach projects with schools and community groups, and establish new habitats for existing and new species at the cemetery.

“This initiative will really make a difference to the biodiversity of the cemetery, providing an opportunity for local people to visit, enjoy, learn, and participate in one of the town’s premier free, accessible open green spaces.”

Councillor Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for bereavement services, added:-

“This is a fantastic project and we are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its generous financial support. The historic Victorian section of the cemetery is something of a hidden gem, and this project will help showcase the heritage and biodiversity of the cemetery to a wider audience. Churchyards and historic cemeteries are often the last remnants of uncultivated and undeveloped land, and therefore a refuge for native and sometimes rare meadowland species.

“The project will help raise awareness and provide opportunities for volunteers to get involved with looking after the cemetery, to record and conserve its heritage and biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.”

Starting this month, the three-year project will feature free and accessible activities catering to all age groups. For more information follow the Friends of Shrewsbury Cemeteries on social media, and contact Kirsty Stevens, Heritage to Inspire project manager, to join their mailing list (email kirsty@cfga.org.uk), or stay tuned for local news and events. 

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