When first opened in 1848 this Victorian cemetery was on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by farm and park land. Today the landscape is a blend of the formal oldest quarter, Grade 11 listed in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest, and the softer more country feel of other areas of the cemetery.
Trees have always played a large role in setting the character of the cemetery. In the old quarter Yews stand on the junctions of paths, Beeches line the processional drive, and there are fine specimens of Cedar of Lebanon. Further into the grounds the character changes and here there are Holly, often self-seeded from Christmas Holly wreaths, as well as Hawthorn and Ash. The Trust has an on-going programme of tree planting when resources allow and we have a tree memorialisation scheme, available as an environmentally friendly way of remembering someone.
The Trust maintains 970 war graves on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has grave maintenance contracts with many private individuals. These contracts provide an invaluable source of income for the Trust.
Our grass cutting regime encourages the self-seeding of wild flowers. This helps control the vigorous grass species and enhances the countryside feel, particularly in the south east and northern sections of the cemetery. The result is that from late spring through to early autumn these areas of the grounds are full of colour and wildlife.
There are many opportunities to learn more about the landscape through our programme of public walks.