At the beginning of 2020, the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park were awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to create our first Conservation Management Plan and better celebrate heritage across the historic Cemetery Park. This grant spanned over the course of 2 years and enabled us to expand our offer of heritage activities and training and engage more people in our amazing history as well as work towards better conserving both our natural and cultural heritage. The project was also supported by The Pilgrim Trust who awarded us an additional £10,000 to help pay for surveys and site studies that helped us to better understand our history and our potential for the future.
The Conservation Management Plan, which will be published here towards the end of 2022, has helped us to better understand and conserve our history, the biodiversity of our site and the things our community love best about Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. This plan has involved huge input from our community, our stakeholders and from heritage and biodiversity professionals.
This Conservation Management Plan has helped us:
- Describe our heritage and our history
- Understand why the Cemetery Park matters and to whom
- Understand what is happening to our heritage and what most needs preserving
- Understand what the key issues are that will affect the Cemetery Park over the coming years
- Plan conservation and restoration works for the future
- Improve public access
- Plan activities and interpretation that engage the whole community
Understanding what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and who will do the work is vital to the success of the Cemetery Park in the long term. This knowledge is helping us to create a maintenance plan to care for the Cemetery Park to guide us on what needs doing on a day-to-day basis. The Conservation Management Plan will guide us on everything from who cuts the grass and plants the spring daffodils, when the health and safety checks need completing and how we conduct cleaning to how we decide what repairs are most important on our vast array of headstones and monuments.
Below are a few of the things that have informed our plans for the future:
• We’ve invited over 1700 of you to try new heritage activities and share your thoughts on how we could bring heritage to life at the Cemetery Park.
• We’ve conducted visitor surveys with 180 people and talked to hundreds of you on social media and on-site about the things you love (and maybe don’t love) about Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
• We’ve invited heritage professionals from LDA Design to conduct monument surveys on some of our largest and most beautiful monuments and document the changes to our historic landscape
• We’ve surveyed our 1940s lodge building to understand the best ways to use the space in the future
• We’ve spoken to our volunteers, members and local community organisations about what they’d like to see at the Cemetery Park
You can find a copy of our consultation report for 2022 here – CMP consultations report October 2022
Our final Conservation Management Plan will be published here in late 2022. You can also find more information about the plan by downloading our CMP info pack from summer 2022 here – THCP Conservation Management Plans info pack.
For any further information, please contact our Heritage Officer, Claire, on email@example.com. You can also find copies of our invitation to tender and our project brief below on our heritage blog.