Rectory Lane Cemetery

Rectory Lane Cemetery / News / Thu 02 Dec 2021

A Week of Awards for Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery

A Week of Awards for Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery

In a single week, the Rectory Lane Cemetery has received three awards, recognising its inspired approach to community involvement, heritage, and team work.

On Tuesday (23 November), the project’s volunteers were named joint Team of the Yearat the Green Flag 25thAnniversary Awards– a special online ceremony to acknowledge the volunteers and employees who care for the UK’s green parks and spaces.

By Thursday (25 November) the cemetery team were celebrating again. This time it was for receiving two awards from The Landscape Institute, the chartered body for the landscape profession.The cemetery team won in the categories - Excellence in Culture and Heritage andExcellence in Community Engagement. The awards were presented at a virtual event honouring both UK and international projects at the forefront of landscape design.

“We began as a small group of volunteers faced with the task of rescuing what was an unloved, and long-neglected burial ground,” explains Dr James Moir, Project Manager of the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project. “To receive this trio of prestigious awards and to be ranked amongst the best examples of contemporary landscape design shows how far we have come from those beginnings.”

The Rectory Lane Cemetery is a detached burial ground under the protection of St Peter’s Church, Berkhamsted. Through a huge volunteer-led restoration effort it has been transformed from a ‘dead space’ of the town into a garden of commemoration, wildlife haven and outdoor venue for arts and events.

“We would not be at this point without the love and time people have poured into this project,” adds Kate Campbell, Community Engagement Officer and Ranger. “This achievement is all down to our dedicated team – particularly our landscape architect Edd Snell of Above Zero, alongside Will Jackson and his small team, all local to Berkhamsted, who carried out the landscaping works with such dedication and skill, and the many specialists who repaired memorials, re-built collapsed walls, righted the toppling gate piers and Memorial Arch as part of the conservation works. Furthermore, none of this would be possible without the wider community who have supported and shaped our vision for what the cemetery could be. More and more individuals are breathing life to this landscape: our grave gardeners, habitat builders, school children, artists, performers, and tour guides continue to help us see the fascinating history and natural beauties of this place. We thank each and every one of them.”

At the Landscape Institute, the Judges “were unified in their deep appreciation of the project…The sense of empowering people and enabling agency was palpable and clearly this site is intended as a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging and a connection.”

Note to Editors

Rectory Lane Cemetery is a free public space, open to all, every day: off the High Street Berkhamsted, HP4 2HQ

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If you would like to be involved in the continuing care and maintenance of this special place through volunteering with this incredible Team of the Year please contact

The Green Flag Award Scheme(,which is marking its Silver Jubilee, is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. We set the standard for the
management of parks and beaches, inspire people to be litter-free, to waste less and live
more sustainably. We run campaigns and programmes including the Great British Spring
Clean, Eco-Schools, Love Parks, Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green
spaces and the Blue Flag/ Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain
Tidy, our campaigns and programmes visit
Any green space that is freely accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag
Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew
their Green Flag Award status. A Green Flag Community Award recognises quality sites
managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is judged
on the treatment of the site’s historic features and the standard of conservation.

The Landscape Institute
The Landscape Institute (LI) is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity that promotes the art and science of landscape practice. The Institute’s aim, through the work of its members is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit. The LI provides a professional home for all landscape practitioners including landscape scientists, landscape planners, landscape architects, landscape managers and urban designers.

The LI Awards https://awards.landscapeinstitute.orgare held annually and are all about celebrating people, place and nature, and the myriad ways that landscape projects can connect them. The Landscape Institute Awards celebrate the exceptional contribution of landscape designers, managers, planners, researchers and more across the world.

For more information visit

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Rectory Lane Cemetery

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