We have been working with Hexham Town Council since 2019 to create a wildflower meadow opposite the cemetery on the main road. Formerly close mown grass, the area was rotovated and then seeded in October 2019 with a wildflower mix. The meadow will be cut at the end of every summer and the hay crop removed, gradually reducing soil fertility and increasing wildflower diversity.
Today the meadow is home to at least 25 species of wildflowers and grasses, and species like wild carrot, black knapweed, lady’s bedstraw and cowslips will all increase slowly over time, aided by this regular hay cut management and by the presence of hay (or yellow) rattle – a plant which weakens the grasses and allows more room for flowers.
We are also starting to work with the Town Council on proposals to change management in the cemetery itself. Mindful of its importance as a place of reflection and of respect for the dead, we feel there is room for a lot more life around the margins of the cemetery, in the hedgerow bottoms and in the woodland sections, and even in some of the unused grassland areas.