Photograph showing rows of graves in Knutsford Cemetery

Memorial Safety Inspections

On Thursday 21st January Knutsford Town Council is commencing a programme of routine memorial safety testing in Knutsford Cemetery. All memorials are required to be tested for safety every five years and the council is undertaking tests on every memorial in the cemetery over the coming months to bring records fully up to date as no records of memorial safety were passed on to the council when it took the cemetery back in 2020.

Testing will be conducted by section in the following order: A, B, L, M, C, D, E, F, J, H, G, K, D.

The testing involves applying a small amount of pressure to the top of a memorial to identify if the memorial is properly anchored into the ground and no damage is done to a memorial through this test. Every memorial which fails the test will be immediately but temporarily made safe. Most memorials failing the safety check will be supported with a stake and banding; where this is not possible the council may have to cordon an area of the cemetery off or temporarily lay the memorial down. After testing in each section of the cemetery has been completed, the council will write to the burial rights holder advising what works are required.

It is the responsibility of burial rights holders to maintain memorials and they will be responsible for any repair costs. The Town Council will look to secure a discounted rate for any memorial repairs from a registered memorial mason using its purchase power to reduce the repair cost for individual grave owners; grave owners will also be able to arrange their own repair through the usual memorial works approvals process with the council.

Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said: “Undertaking these tests are an important part of managing safety at the cemetery. For a period, a number of graves may be staked and feature warning notices – we will endeavour to keep this period as short as possible and the swift cooperation of burial rights holders will help keep the cemetery presentable.”

“We are also taking the opportunity to remind burial rights holders to ensure their contact information is up-to-date; if you own a grave in the cemetery but have moved house since it was purchased please check with us that we hold your latest address so that any letters make it to you”

The Town Council is also encouraging visitors to family graves to consider who might own the grave. Burial rights last around 100 years and there is a process for the rightful owner of a grave claiming the rights to graves where the owner has passed away.

If you have any questions about the cemetery, the programme of memorial testing or transferring burial rights please call us on 01565 653 929 or email cemetery@kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Town Ranger Bob Garner holding two bird boxes

Bird and Bat Boxes Installed

After opening a (bug) hotel last year Knutsford Town Council is now offering seasonal lodgings for birds and bats after installing 21 bird and bat boxes on its open spaces as part of its Nature Action Plan.

Boxes were installed on mature trees at the cemetery, Higher Town Green, Wallwood and the Obelisk green, the four open spaces which are managed by the town council.

The boxes were all made by the council’s Planning and Facilities Officer, Bob Allen, who volunteered his time to create them with his son. Bob’s role includes coordinating the work of the council’s Nature Action Plan and he is currently preparing plans for the council’s first major tree planting scheme in March.

Bob created a number of bat boxes and a range of bird boxes tailored for the demands of some of our most common feathered friends – great tits, sparrows, blue tits and robins.

Bob said, “I enjoyed making the boxes with some help from my son Edward and it is rewarding to see them up on our open spaces.”

“The next stage of our Nature Action Plan is to commence our ambitious tree planting programme and we hope to share details of the areas we’ll be covering this year very soon”

The boxes were installed by Knutsford’s Town Ranger, Bob Garner who will ensure they are cleared out each year to encourage new visitors the following season.

The Knutsford Nature Action Plan was adopted in March 2020 as part of the council’s commitment to tackling climate change and improving the town’s biodiversity and natural habitats. You can find out more about what Knutsford Town Council is doing for nature as part of the Nature Action Plan at www.kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/natureactionplan

Adopt a Shop Logo

Adopt a Knutsford Shop Launches

Knutsford is to launch its own Adopt a Shop Scheme after seeing it promoted by High Street guru Mary Portas, and its success in Dublin, and other UK towns. The scheme sees residents champion their three favourite local shops – shops that make their town special and which if they were to close would be most missed.  Using the #adoptaKNUTSFORDshop hashtag they commit to spending money in their adopted shops, talk about them, and promote them via social media and amongst their friends and family.  They also ask three friends to do the same and help the network of adopters grows.  Some examples of what people can do are:

  • Tweet a selfie outside your adopted shops
  • Share a photo of your latest haul
  • Share a video talking about what you most love about them.

The scheme caught the eye of Sarah Flannery, founder of local volunteer group Knutsford Hosts.  Sarah said, “Many communities are trying to support their local economy and when I heard about this initiative which started in Dublin, I thought it could be brilliant for Knutsford. We’re all doing much more online now, and this is a really innovative way for residents to support the businesses that are most dear to them and for businesses to engage online with their customers.

We all have our favourite shops; #AdoptaKnutsfordShop simply lets us tell everyone! It’s wonderful to see the Town Council support the idea. Making a conscious effort to give our favourite businesses our support will not only help them keep their virtual doors open, it’ll give us all some pleasure to champion our favourites.”  Knutsford Lions are also on board, Paul Buttrick said, “We heard about the #AdoptaKnutsfordShop initiative at our meeting, Knutsford Lions fully support this anything that helps bring back vibrant life to our town after the pandemic.”

Local resident and Radios 2 and 6 DJ, Mark Radcliffe is also on board saying, “During lockdown there have been many local businesses that have provided a lifeline, a friendly face and a valuable service. This scheme is a chance to show the people who work there how much we appreciate their resilience and good humour. The challenges faced in retail have made us all focus more on our local high street and we have learned afresh not to take it for granted and to show our support and thanks for the people keeping those establishments up and running’.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council, said, “We are always looking at ways of promoting our local shops and never more so than present.  When Sarah contacted us about the scheme, it was obviously one we knew we and our community could champion.  We will start by working with members of the Knutsford Hosts and Knutsford Lions, hoping to get #AdoptaKnutsfordShop trending on social media, mentions in the local press and maybe some live videos!”

If anyone wishes to take part in the scheme, please contact Sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk