Churchyard tidy up for new quiet area

Sleaford Town Council staff have been busy clearing and tidying overgrown areas at the rear of the closed church yard to the rear of St Denys' Church. EMN-180330-160620001
Sleaford Town Council staff have been busy clearing and tidying overgrown areas at the rear of the closed church yard to the rear of St Denys' Church. EMN-180330-160620001

An area for quiet reflection is to be created in a newly cleared space at the rear of the town’s parish church yard.

The burial ground at St Denys’ Church has been officially ‘closed’ for many years, at which time responsibility for maintenance passed to the Town Council.

Following discussions with the vicar Rev Philip Johnson and churchwardens, contractors working for the Town Council have been clearing the overgrown areas of vegetation in the burial ground over the past two weeks.

Once all the works are completed, it is intended to add seating and create an area for quiet reflection.

Town Clerk Kevin Martin explained: “In 1959 the old Urban District Council was requested to take it over.

“We have always cut the grass but the area in the north west corner has become a bit overgrown.”

Rev Johnson agreed: “We are exceedingly grateful for the work the council have done this year.”

The work has revealed the old town lock-up, a small overnight jail in one corner of the churchyard.

Rev Johnson said: “Historically the vicar held the keys to the lock-up - long before Lincolnshire Police - back in the days of the Town Constable. We have always been able to get to it but the churchyard goes back further than most people imagine.

“It is nice to have a wild area for biodiversity but it got to a point it was out of control.”

The Council will also be working with Sleaford Navigation Trust on the riverbank alongside Eastgate Green on Thursday and Friday.

Soil and stone will fill in the coir rolls already put in place by Navigation Trust volunteers to help restore the eroded riverbank.

A few parking spaces and the river edge will be off-limits during the work. Aquatic plants will be added to combat further erosion.