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Communities celebrate Eden cemeteries’ Green Flag Award status

Eden District Councillors, officers and contractors celebrate Penrith Cemetery retaining its Green Flag Award status.

In the 22nd year of the Green Flag Award, which celebrates the nation’s favourite green spaces, from crematoriums to business parks, two cemeteries in Eden District have retained their Green Flag status.

The cemeteries at Alston Moor and Penrith have joined a record breaking 1,183 large and small green spaces in the UK to have been awarded Green Flag status, almost 100 more than in 2017.

Eden District Council’s Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Adrian Todd said: “The standard of maintenance and management of our cemeteries is second to none and achieving Green Flag Status each year is testimony to the hard work of Council Officers and contractor Amey. We are working to create more community involvement in the management and biodiversity arrangements of the cemeteries through Friends Groups, as we recognize how these green spaces are maintained is a source of pride for local people.”

The judges of the Green Flag Awards praised Alston Cemetery for:

  • Its management plan
  • The bird survey for the Woodland Burial Area
  • The involvement of the community in decision making
  • The site being well maintain and with no evidence of litter
  • Having excellent nesting sites for birds with many mature trees

Penrith Cemetery was praised by the judges for its:

  • Two entrance ways which are welcoming and have good floral displays
  • Paths being in good condition and the site being well maintained and safe
  • The mature landscape provides excellent habitat for birds and other wildlife
  • Areas of biodiversity being introduced
  • Local Councillor being keen to generate more community interest in the cemetery

Penrith North Ward District Councillor, Deb Holden, is keen to encourage more community involvement in Penrith Cemetery. Councillor Holden said: “I am very pleased that Penrith Cemetery has once again been awarded Green Flag status.  The cemetery is a special place for quiet contemplation and has lovely views of the Lake District from many vantage points.  It deserves this special status; a testament to all the continuing hard work by Eden District Officers, volunteers and Amey’s Ground maintenance team.

“As a Friend of the Cemetery I am keen to involve the community in encouraging more wildlife habitats in Penrith cemetery; this large green space overlooking Penrith has many mature trees and it would be good to see some bat and bird boxes installed.  I would also encourage people to visit the cemetery to see the memorial to Joseph Byrnes.  I hadn’t realised the significance of this memorial until recently.  He was a Constable serving in the Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary, and unfortunately in 1885 received a fatal gunshot wound whilst attempting to arrest three burglars.  He was only 34 years old.”

Penrith and Alston cemeteries have been recipients of Green Flag Awards for the last nine years.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It has been a record-breaking year for Green Flag Awards, and it’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of locations have been recognised. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors, explore their local area and find even more unexpected green spaces they can enjoy.”

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