A clear-up session by the 1st Sid Vale Explorer Scouts was the latest initiative in the ongoing campaign to improve the upkeep of Sidmouth’s cemeteries.

The Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries project was set up by the Vision Group for Sidmouth last November. This followed concerns that the ‘rewilding’ of public spaces had gone too far in the case of cemeteries, leading to many headstones and graves at Sidmouth Cemetery becoming completely overgrown with weeds. The group has agreed to work with East Devon District council's Streetscene team to help maintain the site.

The Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries group now has a core working party of volunteers who meet every Thursday morning, and other organisations are joining in.

Sidmouth Herald: The Explorer Scouts at work in the cemeteryThe 1st Sid Vale Explorer Scouts came along to Sidmouth Cemetery with their leaders and some family members on Saturday, February 10.

The group set to work clearing brambles which were invading parts of the cemetery to the south of the chapel. This part of the site had been left unmanaged for a long time and while bramble patches can be useful cover for living creatures, if left unchecked they will take over and smother all other less robust plants.

Sidmouth Herald: Clearing the previously overgrown grave of Sir Walter CaveTwo hidden headstones and graves were uncovered, including that of Colonel Walter Cave underneath the old redwood tree. Areas of three-cornered leek, a very invasive species, were cut back to prevent the plants from setting seed and spreading.

Sidmouth Herald: Clearing brambles from headstonesCherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries has thanked the Explorer Scouts and their families for their work, and their offer to return later in the year for another clear-up session. East Devon District Council has also been thanked for lending the dumpy bags and taking them away afterwards.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries group can visit https://cherishing-cemeteries.vgsidmouth.co.uk/contact-us