The village cemetery is on Landbeach Road just beyond the bypass. The original cemetery was created by All Saints’ church in around 1900 when their churchyard started to run out of space.
In 1984 the parish council extended it to provide considerably more space and new interments now take place in this part of the cemetery. If, when you visit, the new burial ground looks rather different from how you are used to see it this is because Milton Parish Council is experimenting with a new way of management.
Wild flower meadow
The plan is to reserve the area to the left of the path for burials and interment of ashes; an area large enough to meet the needs of the village for many years to come. The area to the right of the path will be managed as a meadow where the wild grasses and flowers will be allowed to bloom and seed before mowing.
The period of future time available should allow the development of a diverse community of plants and the re-creation of a type of meadow rarely seen nowadays. It is also intended to complete the enclosure of the area with hedges similar to the one on the south side – mainly hawthorn mixed with other suitable species. This will be a protection from the coldest winds for people and plants alike.
Allowing the plants to grow for several weeks has revealed quite a variety of grasses and flowers already present. It is planned to increase this diversity by adding seeds of locally prevalent plants and to discourage some of the less desirable species. It will take 2-3 years to achieve the desired effect.
Allowing the meadow and hedges to flower, seed and fruit will encourage insects and birds to move into the area and create a sanctuary for many small creatures. The grass around the graves will be kept neat as at present to allow ease of access. It is hoped that the contrast of order and controlled wildness will create a setting of rural simplicity and human solicitude which will be attractive and consoling.
The cemetery currently costs the village £2,000 a year to maintain, not including one off charges such as tree surgery, maintenance to the fence and gate and the path the council recently had laid in the new part of the cemetery.