The St Marks Churchyard makeover on the 21st July will be the first time a large group of local volunteers will have worked together on this particular site. One of the biggest challenges will be co-ordinating the work – making sure the teams have enough people, tools and materials. Today some of the tasks the teams will be tackling were being checked out.
1. To ease the pressure on Saturday, skips and materials are due to arrive on the Friday and some preliminary work is being planned for that day thanks to input from the Princes Trust. Work includes repairs/maintenance to the entrance to he market and the proposed cycle stand area.
To help cope with the pedestrian traffic, interlocking hexagonal matting will be laid down at the entrance to the market. This will help protect the roots of the grass, and give it a longer life once the grass has been given time to grown back again.
2. One of the more challenging and long overdue tasks for the day is to sort out this mud patch. The ground needs to be aerated, levelled with new top soil/compost and sown with grass seeds. Laying turfs was an option but they are expensive and it’s not the best time of year for this approach.
3. A well maintained rose bed can look very beautiful. At the moment, the rose bed at the rear of the church looks more like a thisle bed. The roses are still in bloom so it is not the ideal time to be pruning/dead heading them but there is still a lot of weeding to be done. Given the number and size of the thistles, this is definitely a job that will need some decent gardening gloves.
The rose bed could do with some additional plants to show it at its best. However, as there is so much basic maintenance to be done, the focus of the day will be on getting the basics right rather than planting. There is a case that if the rose bed uis not going to be maintained correctly then it might as well be converted to grass but let’s see what local opinion supports.
4. If saplings behind the gravestones are allowed to grow unchecked, they will eventually push them over as has already happened in some places. There is also a lot of debris -bear cans, bottles etc. that needs to be removed.
As the market will be operational on the day, access to the gravestones will be limited in certain sections. It might prove easier to pass cuttings/debris through the railings than between the market stalls. Skips will be situated near the front of the church which means wheelbarrows can stick mostly to hard paved areas rather than soft ground.
5. In addition to painting the playground equipment, the bushes shown here need to be trimmed. The playground has been used by drinkers in the past and it is considered important to improve lines of sight.