Churchyard Extension Refurbishment Project
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The Churchyard Extension is owned by the parish council. It lies to the east and
north of the churchyard of St Peter ad Vincula and covers about 0.4 acres. It was
given to the village by Mrs Violet Barbour and Mr Ian McKay. It was envisaged that
some of the area could be used for burials when all grave spaces in the churchyard
The land has been used for occasional sheep grazing but by 2011 was now in poor
condition and not suitable for grazing. The post and rail fencing reinforced by sheep
netting between the land and the roads (Slibber and the A361) was no longer stock
proof and was visually unattractive. At some time (probably about 30 years ago)
three beech trees were planted to extend the line of three limes and one beech tree
in the churchyard. The two new trees nearest to the churchyard had died but the
areas round each of three trees remained fenced with posts and barbed wire.
Overall the Churchyard Extension did not provide a suitable surrounding for the
Grade 1 listed church and its churchyard, which had recently been refurbished. The
parish council therefore decided in 2011 to refurbish it.
It will not be necessary to use the whole of the Churchyard Extension for burials for
several hundred years. Therefore the plan was that about 60% of the area would be
converted to grass for recreational use and, possibly, occasional grazing with some
being seeded as wildflower meadow. Part of this area would be available for burials
when required in the future. The remaining 40% of the area would be planted with
native shrubs and small trees as wildlife habit and to screen the churchyard and
meadow from the A361. The boundary of the meadow would be surrounded by a
formal hedge of beech. The road boundary of the tree and shrub area would be
planted with a native species hedge.
Some specimen trees could be planted in the meadow and near the northern
boundary of the churchyard to provide succession for the existing mature trees in the
The parish council has received a grant from the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment
(TOE2) and native trees and hedging plants have been donated by The Woodland
Trust. In 2012 working parties from the village removed the old fencing and planted
the trees and native and formal beech hedges. The meadow area was ploughed by
John Clifton and part was sown with wild flower meadow seed in spring 2013.
Unfortunately despite selective spraying it has not yet been possible to remove all the
perennial weeds from the area. The parish council is seeking professional advice on
how to eliminate them so that the grass area can be sown.
For more information contact John Braithwaite – [email protected].
South Newington Parish Council – 22/04/14