Volunteers needed to help make the overgrown haven for drinkers something the whole community can enjoy instead

THE badly overgrown churchyard at Ilfracombe Parish Church should be one of the jewels in the town’s crown according to one local woman and she is hoping to recruit volunteers who will help make that a reality.

Shirley Kelvie has organised a community clearing day for the wild three to four acre graveyard behind Holy Trinity Church on Saturday, September 10 from 10am-4pm.

A willing gang of workers is forming but as many as possible who care about the area and wish to see it transformed rather than an overgrown wilderness are urged to come along on the day.

Shirley’s vision is to transform the churchyard into an attractive haven for wildlife and wild flowers that people will enjoy visiting, without disturbing the graves or memorials, by planting suitable shrubs and trees.

“At the moment it’s a disgrace, drinkers go in there and I have spoken to a lot of people who feel this church and the grounds should be one of the jewels of Ilfracombe,” she said.

“On the day I am hoping as many volunteers as possible will turn out to start the initial clear up and then it will be ongoing. Hopefully it will be beautiful, but it’s obviously a long term project. Our ultimate aim is to turn it into a community asset that schools and youth organisations can use for education.”

Reverend Robert Harris is a keen supporter of the project, which is also looking for donations of plants or trees from any individuals or businesses that would like to get involved.

“Anyone interested in that side of it is welcome to get in touch with me on (01271) 865844,” said Shirley.

“On the day, just turn up. We hope it will be fun and why not bring a picnic with you to make a day of it?”