The area immediately around the church is maintained by Bath and North East Somerset Council's Bereavement Services, following on from Wandsdyke District Council in 1996.
The churchyard boasts an ancient Yew, listed as such by the Ancient Yew Group, a national charity who catalogue and aim to preserve the most ancient of these long-lived trees. The Yew must be at least 600 years old, as it is at least as old as St Peter's church.Unfortunately, ill treated by amateur pruning it suffered some damage in the past, but is now making a good recovery and will be managed to preserve it as long as possible in the future.
Maintenance of grounds
Bereavement Services has a close working relationship with the Parochial Church Council and provides grass cutting equipment, which it keeps regularly serviced, to enable church volunteers to carry out maintenance during the mowing season.
The benefits of this type of relationship for both the council and the church are many. The biggest advantage is obviously that volunteers are able to devote more time to the churchyard than is available to the council's Closed Cemeteries team (conscientious and proud of their work though they are) e.g. volunteers frequently cut the grass weekly and are able to take advantage of spells of dry weather whereas each closed burial ground can only be visited fortnightly by the cemeteries team - weather permitting. Another advantage is that church volunteers are able to provide early warning of anything needing attention beyond the scope of their abilities e.g. a tree dying.
The council's arboricultural office keeps the trees under a 3 yearly review and agrees minor works with the volunteers. All major tree works are carried out by the council's tree specialists
Bereavement Services carries out a 5 year rolling programme of memorial testing to ensure that memorials are preserved as well as possible. The council does not have the right to restore memorials, but it does have the responsibility to make the cemetery a reasonably safe place to visit which enables it to lay down any memorials in danger of falling. Safety in cemeteries has improved so much since such programmes were introduced, that now the main benefit from testing is to ensure that memorials are not left to rot until they fall smashing themselves, or neighbouring memorials, or both, in the process.
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