VOLUNTEERS wanting to transform St Augustine’s churchyard in Penarth have been awarded a grant of £8,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Friends of St Augustine’s can now start changing the decaying churchyard into “a centre to which people can come to learn, look and relax”.
Despite surrounding Penarth’s only Grade 1 building, St Augustine’s churchyard has deteriorated over the past few years – much of the grass is now overgrown and several graves have decayed.
In 2015, the state of the churchyard was described as “pitiful” by the Friends.
However, the Start Up Grant from the fund means improvements can now be made, graves restored and the natural environment enhanced.
The project will also promote St Augustine’s churchyard, home to several plant and animal species, as an outdoor educational and recreational area for visitors.
Andrew Davison, chairman of the Habitat and Heritage Group, said: “This is a fantastic boost and the grant will enable us to get on with the preparatory survey work which is essential before we involve the local community more fully.”
“This site is of great historical and environmental importance and we have a responsibility to record its history and make better use of the site as a place of environmental interest.”
Tricia Griffiths, chairwoman of the Friends, said: “Being awarded the Start Up Grant is wonderful news for St Augustine’s, the town and the wider community. The Habitat and Heritage Project is ambitious but it will transform a deteriorating churchyard into a place we hope will become a favourite destination for people keen on the environment, heritage and history.”