Tree Planting Ceremony, 25 March 2015

On 25 March 2015 six new trees were planted in the cemetery, funded by the Friends, Sedgemoor District Council and through a very kind donation from the Mayor and Mayoress of Bridgwater Cllr Steve and Mrs Stella Austen.

Over the years a combination of storms and disease had meant that a number of the old trees had come down and it was high-time for them to be replaced. With advice from the Somerset Wildlife Trust about what to plant to best diversify the habitat, over the next two years the Friends will plant native trees and a new manageable, tidy and diverse hedgerow round the site. This hedge will be great for wildlife, will look appropriate as a backdrop to the graves, and will provide, with their thorns and sharp edges, some security to the site and its neighbours. All of this will make the cemetery a green lung for the town as well as a peaceful place of reflection for the community.

Recognising the efforts of the Friends and the importance of the cemetery, after all 16 former mayors of Bridgwater are at rest in the site, Cllr and Mrs Austen decided to fund two of the six trees. Sedgemoor District Council funded three more trees and provided the labour to put them all in place. The Friends funded the sixth tree.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon. The Sedgemoor District Council men had worked very hard and done a marvellous job pre-planting trees, leaving the maple for the Mayor to ceremonially plant. Attending the ceremony was the Mayor and Mayoress Steve and Stella Austen, Treasurer Astrid Wilkins, Secretary Bernice Lashbrook, Works co-ordinators Alan and Rita Jones, committee members Joyce Hurford, Valerie Webb and member Pat Bartlett. With a brand new shiny spade the Mayor duly shovelled earth into the tree base for photographer Geoff Searle to take his picture which will be in the Mercury.

Rita then said a few words thanking everyone for their hard work in the last 4 years, the Mayor and Mayoress for their support in their year as our Presidents and to SDC for their hard work. The party then retired to the Quantock to give the Mayor and Mayoress a cuppa, but the Mayor insisted on buying the cuppa for the Friends, in another much appreciated act of benevolence!