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Wildflower meadow oasis in town’s ancient urban heart

PUBLISHED: 12:34 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:17 22 May 2018

Cemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget Heriz

Cemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget Heriz

Bridget Heriz

A countryside flower meadow is buzzing with activity on a slice of Great Yarmouth’s most ancient, original soil.

Cemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget HerizCemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget Heriz

Among the lichen-spotted head stones in the Minster churchyard and Kitchener Road cemeteries, a wildlife haven has taken hold, thanks to careful management by volunteers.

For as well as the odd vase of memorial bouquets there are carpets of bluebells, crocuses and meadow saxifrage

In the summer the northern plots in the new cemetery will offer a multitude of ox-eye daisies.

Bridget Heriz, secretary to the Friends of Great Yarmouth Cemeteries, said the display had been improving year by year since a flower survey was carried as part of a project by the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust.

Cemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget HerizCemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget Heriz

She said: “The cemeteries are an extremely rare remnant of the sand dune system which the town of Great Yarmouth was originally built on.

“Its thin, sandy soil is perfect for a wide range of wildflower species.

“Particular to these poor nutrient soil conditions are meadow saxifrage, lady’s bedstraw, sheep’s sorrel and biting stonecrop.”

Mark Webster of the conservation volunteers identified prime flower-growing areas and a new mowing regime was agreed.

Cemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget HerizCemeteries in Great Yarmouth are drawing admiring glances for their wealth of wildflowers Photo: Bridget Heriz

When he returned in 2014 he said “It’s wonderful to see the site managed so sympathetically for wildlife and I am really pleased to see so many patches are now in full flower and attracting lots of insects to pollinate them.

“Things have improved year by year and it is a real boon for bees and butterflies, hoverflies and longhorn beetles among other insects making use of the much improved habitat.”

Paths to graves that are still visited are mowed.

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