A new garden in Arnos Vale Cemetery for our community

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August 12, 2019

A new garden in Arnos Vale Cemetery for our community

Community garden 2019

Exciting changes are underway near the Totterdown boundary of Arnos Vale, where our Estate Team and volunteers have created a new Community Garden. The area of land was overgrown and unsightly for many years, having been unmanaged since the former out-building (previously used by site workers) became derelict in the 1990’s.

A new beginning

We are breathing new life into the area, by creating a wildlife-friendly garden which will be planted and maintained by voluntary community groups and individual members of the public. Our vision is for the garden to be vibrant and sensory and for it to benefit the ecology on site, the people working on it and anyone who uses it.


The garden includes 12 raised beds, two of which are accessible for wheelchair users, a wildlife pond and dipping platform, a small storage shed, several new fruit trees, a composting area, bird and bat boxes and plenty of flowering plants. Groups are invited to plant native bulbs, herbs, annual and perennial flowers and shrubs in their allocated raised beds. Butterfly and bee-friendly plants are encouraged, to create a garden which provides food and habitat for these beautiful insects which are so vital to good garden health and biodiversity.


The project has been planned carefully, using lots of recycled and sustainably-produced material wherever possible. The footpath is mostly made up of concrete blocks from the former derelict building, which were crushed and reused on site. The raised beds and shed are made of Welsh-grown European larch; a timber which is naturally resistant to decay, and therefore avoids introducing nasty chemicals. The living sedum shed roof harvests rainwater which is used to water the garden, and the timbers were salvaged for the pond from a nearby building site.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Jos Clarke, officially opened the garden at a sun-filled ceremony on the 11th of July, welcoming local community groups, sponsors and donors. The team of staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to create the garden were present to guide everyone round.

We are very grateful to Landscape Architecture who we have continued to work with us over several years. Their design advice helped in the development of the layout of the garden, and their sketch design and planning drawings were used to promote the scheme to the local community.

Jos Clarke with shears opening the Community Garden

Mayor Jos Clarke opening the Community Garden

We’re really looking forward to people using our Community Garden for recreation, education and quiet reflection and we hope it will be appreciated by the community. We’re now inviting groups to get involved, so if you’re interested, please contact nick.bull@arnsovale.org.uk

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