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'Stop neglecting cemeteries'

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Councils have been urged to restore and upkeep their cemeteries so they're 'attractive' places for the public to visit by a government adviser on the upkeep of public spaces.

The Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE) said cemeteries should not just be considered as resting places for the dead, but should be designed with the living in mind too.

CABE director of campaigns, Matt Bell, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: "I think people love cemeteries.

"They have a wonderful wild quality to them, there's a kind of magical, sacred quality to them; we need to recapture that."

Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space, added: "The great Victorian cemeteries were designed and maintained as beautiful public parks for the enjoyment of all. Every local authority should have them in their green space strategy and ensure that their full value is realised.”

Cemetery restoration

Plans are underway to regenerated Bristol's once neglected Arnos Vale Cemetery, which received National Lottery funding after 10,000 people signed a petition to save it. It will include a:

  • Victorian heritage centre

  • Education centre

  • Family history centre

  • Volunteer centre

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