Plymouth Branch Indoor Meeting – Monday 12th June

Ford Park Cemetery – A Developing Wildlife Story

Speaker: John Boon



John Boon is an enthusiastic speaker, keen to share the knowledge and experiences he has gained from being a Trustee at Ford Park Cemetery. The Trust, which has run the 34-acre site since 2000, has limited resources but aims to involve the community, maintain a variety of habitats as well as operate a working successful cemetery.

He gave a fascinating insight into the history of the site, which at one time, was well beyond the city boundaries. In 1901 there were 3000 people interred there in a year. He talked of the gravestones of local dignitaries of Plymouth’s past buried there, as well as notable naturalists, like H.G.Hurrell.

He explained that managing the site for the community involved sharing its history and wildlife with everyone. Sometimes, with only two workers, it was a balancing act so that graves could be accessible and maintained. It meant leaving a variety of habitats with wildlife corridors between, which would encourage an excellent range of insect, moth, butterfly, bird life and flowers.  He illustrated the talk with wildlife and historical photographs.

The meeting was well attended and John Boon provided an interesting insight to the wildlife that could be found at Ford Park- a haven of peace within the city.

Jill Stevens