Case Study-Disused Cemetery Pembrokeshire
The project involves clearing an area of 1200m² and establishing a Wildflower Meadow covering 400m². This will provide a much needed green space for the local community to enjoy. By establishing a wildflower meadow we create a habitat for numerous pollinators and insects as well as preserving our native flora. The more diversity we have in our enviroment will in turn support more birds, animals and insects that are crucial to maintaining our Biodiversity.
The initial work has involved clearing the area of scrub,brambles and a thick mat of grass. It is crucial when you are preparing the area for your meadow that all arisings are collected when you cut it, as they will put fertility back into the ground if they remain. The aim is to reduce soil fertility, wildflowers thrive better in low fertility soils otherwise they will be swamped out by grasses and more domineering plant species. This part of the project is key to establishing a successful wildflower meadow. Brambles have long shoots and take root where the tips of the plant come into contact with the soil enabling the plant to spread very quickly.The roots have to be removed from the soil either dug out by hand or if working on a lager area a landrake bucket on a digger works well but is best attempted when soil conditions are dry. It may be necessary to repeat this operation a number of times removing any new growth which appears in order to create a clean seedbed. Do not attempt to rotavate brambles you will just multiply the problem as brambles have the ability to regenerate from chopped root material.
Chemical control is the quickest and cheapest method of weed control, and can have a part to play on sites difficult to access with machinery or with very thin top soils where stripping off the top layer of soil is not an option, although top soil can be brought in to replace it, it is both an added expense along with the risk of importing a new weed seed bank.
Headstones which were in a dangerous state or had toppled over have been relocated to the perimeter of the graveyard and set horizontal on the ground. Any kerbing was also lifted which could cause a trip hazard or impede mowing, this will be reused as seating at a later date.