Barnstaple churchyard to close for tree maintenance
By tinap | Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 13:36
Holy Trinity churchyard in Barnstaple will closed to carry out extensive tree work at 6pm on Sunday 17 March, reopening at 8am on Saturday 23 March.
North Devon Council said it needed to carry out urgent work to an avenue of horse chestnut trees in the grounds. Two of the trees are dead and will be felled. The remaining 17 trees will be heavily pruned to reduce the risk of falling branches.
The Holy Trinity Parochial Church Council recently applied for the burial ground to become a 'closed churchyard', which means that burials can no longer take place there. As such, maintenance of the churchyard has now transferred to North Devon Council.
A survey of the churchyard has revealed that the ageing avenue of horse chestnuts that line the path are infected with bleeding canker and leaf blotch. Their declining health is a risk to those who visit the grounds or use the footpath as a link between Victoria Road and Barbican Road.
Executive Member for parks and open spaces, Councillor Derrick Spear, says: "We know that closing the churchyard will be an inconvenience to the people who visit the grounds and the many who use the pathway as a shortcut into town. However, this work is essential and it is just too dangerous to keep the grounds open while it's being carried out."
Signs have been put up at both entrances to the churchyard and around the grounds, to highlight the closure.
The council will be replacing some trees along the pathway and elsewhere in the churchyard at a later date.