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The Project in Action

By Steve Kerss

If you feel that the atmosphere of Smallcombe hasn’t changed, that’s reassuring. We set out to preserve the cemetery, making it safer and accessible, whilst respecting all that is unique and poignant.

Since our first public consultation on 11th January 2014:

1.     Repairing Walls

235 metres of walls have been repaired or rebuilt and 40 memorials re-erected, making for safer public access both for visitors and relatives  See More >


2.     Building new steps & stile

A new path and stile linking the cemetery to the National Trust’s Smallcombe Wood has created a circular walk over an outstanding landscape with spectacular views  See More >

3.     Re-erecting Memorials

3 new memorial stone seats offer visitors resting places from which to watch wildlife, and to reflect on the tranquility and poignant beauty of the cemetery  See More >


4.     18 Volunteer Gardening Events have opened up the 5 acre cemetery’s pathways, making graves accessible both to relatives and visitors  See More >


5.     Researching Bio-diversity

7 separate surveys have demonstrated the surprising biodiversity for a site just 15 minutes walk from the city centre, with birds of prey, grass snakes, and a huge variety of mosses and lichens (one rare enough to send to Kew Gardens). Wild flowers and grasses now flourish, supporting an increasing moth and butterfly population  See More >


6.     Researching the Social History Trail

A new, on-site, smartphone-accessible social-history trail enables visitors to explore Bath’s Victorian and Edwardian past using 12 audio-video clips which tell fascinating tales of those buried here, including the lyricist of Danny Boy; how Pickwick Papers came to be so named, and the man who revealed the Roman Baths to an astonished world  See More >


7.     Visitor numbers have grown, with up to 750 a month in the summer, including families on the circular walk, dog walkers, and those fascinated by Bath’s social and natural history 


8.     Our website tells the project’s story and provides comprehensive historical facts, on-line viewing of the social-history trail’s audio-video clips, and site-access information  


9.     Involving the Community

1817 people have attended 12 community events starting with our Photographic Exhibition in August 2014 through to our grass-raking BBQ in October 2017, so demonstrating the huge public interest and commitment to Smallcombe   See More >


10.  Smallcombe’s Steering Committee – including representatives from the Church, BathNES Council and the National Trust – worked enthusiastically with local people and made a huge contribution to the success of the project  


11.  £75,000 of funding from the people of Bath, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Local Trusts & Funds as below, and BathNES Council was spent principally with small businesses, thus supporting the local economy  

12.  Volunteer time, valued using HLF guidelines at £206,000, demonstrated the local community’s outstanding contribution, with no money spent on ‘external consultants’ because all advice and guidance was freely given   

a little money ~  a lot of help ~ a huge community achievement
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