Cemeteries and Crematorium Maintenance Standard
Thanet District Council manages and maintains two cemeteries Margate and Ramsgate and one crematorium. The Bereavement Services Team aim to provide a public service while maintaining the facilities and landscape to a high standard, ensuring the needs of a diverse range of communities and users of the cemeteries are met. Cemeteries are places of historic and natural interest, attracting a wealth of wildlife and staff are mindful that these facts need to be incorporated in the grounds maintenance plan.
A regular plan for maintenance has been drawn up and varies depending on the time of the year.
During dormant autumn and winter months, clearing and cutting back will take place. For areas which have been cleared of undergrowth, a habitat area will be created and sown with wild flower seed to allow areas for wildlife, pollination and insects, such as the photograph below at Ramsgate Cemetery.
During spring and summer months, grass cutting commences and depending on the area will determine how often the grass is cut. Hedges are trimmed following checks for nesting wildlife. Any areas containing nests will not be cut.
Whenever practicable the use of pesticides will be minimised and alternative solutions sought.
Bins are regularly emptied by the Waste and Recycling Department. We do ask that visitors place all flower wrappings and non-biodegradable items in the bins provided or take these home.
Roads and footpaths are regularly checked for potholes and works are in progress to improve their condition.
Please refer to the Memorial Stability Management Standard for further information.
Margate Cemetery first opened in 1856 and covers some 35 acres. The cemetery is still operational and approximately 300 burials take place per year.
In the older, less frequently visited areas of Margate Cemetery, three areas have been set aside to enhance the natural environment and will remain dedicated to wildlife and to encourage pollination and insect species. Several habitat piles have been created and nesting boxes sited in trees. In addition to this a small wildlife pond has been sited to encourage frogs and newts. Maintenance in these areas will be minimal during spring and summer to allow the grass to reach its seasonal maturity.
Maintenance for the main route leading from the road will be scheduled on a 20 day grass cutting and strimming rota, ensuring a level of care to reflect the levels of respect that should be given in a place of remembrance. The remaining older section of the cemetery is scheduled on a 30 day maintenance plan.
The more frequently visited areas of the cemetery and the garden of rest, grass will be cut and strimmed on a 20 day rota. Please note that during certain weather conditions, grass cuttings may stick to the memorial. Unfortunately time does not always allow for grounds staff to clear the grass from each memorial following cutting in the area.
Ramsgate Cemetery first opened in 1876 with the St Lawrence Section of the Cemetery opening 20 years later in 1896. The two sections of the Cemeteries again span approximately 34 acres and is still operational.
During winter months, overgrown areas are being cleared to create much needed burial space, and habitat piles being created to ensure wildlife and insects can still thrive.
As burials take place in all areas of the cemetery, it cannot be divided into the older and newer section of the cemetery, so grass cutting and strimming of each section takes place on a 20 day rota.
Thanet Crematorium first opened in 1966 and now hosts somewhere in the region of 1600 cremations per year.
Here the nature of maintenance is that of ornamental and grass cutting and strimming take place on a 10 day rota. The four flower beds are maintained and bedding plants replaced twice per year. Where possible these bedding plants are re-used in the Woodlands area of the crematorium or in Margate Cemetery.
Hedges leading up the drive are cut back during the dormant winter period, but during the summer period are trimmed to keep their shape after checking for nesting birds.
Floral tributes placed in the cloisters area of the crematorium will remain in situ until the Tuesday following the service. Please note, at certain times of the year, squirrels can be prone to removing individual flowers from these displays.
Under the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1972 and Local Government Act, Thanet District Council is responsible for the maintenance of its closed churchyards.
Bereavement Services is responsible for grass cutting and clearing is St George’s Churchyard Ramsgate, St John’s Churchyard Margate, All Saints Churchyard Birchington, and St Peters Churchyard. These churchyards will be included on a 20 day grass cutting and strimming during the summer period. During winter months, clearing and cutting back works will be planned in conjunction with the church’s committees with relevant permissions sought and will be scheduled into a winter works programme