Rectory Lane Cemetery

Rectory Lane Cemetery / News / Thu 14 Oct 2021

Berkhamsted cemetery wins Green Flag Community Award

Berkhamsted cemetery wins Green Flag Community Award

Dead Space to Living Place: Berkhamsted’s once-neglected cemetery wins Green Flag Community Award

Rectory Lane Cemetery in Berkhamsted has been awarded a Green Flag Community Award, after a huge volunteer-led restoration project.

For decades, this Victorian cemetery was an overgrown and forgotten space, its memorials damaged, and its old avenues buried from sight. Now, it has achieved the international mark of quality for green parks and spaces.

The transformation came about through a Heritage Lottery Funded scheme initiated by the Friends of St Peter’s Church Berkhamsted. It has involved the work of over a hundred volunteers, artists, landscape architects, stone masons and conservationists.

The result is a beautiful, safe and accessible green haven in the heart of the town.

“We wanted to preserve the 19th century features of the site – its precious monuments, and trees, and arch-ways,” says Project Manager James Moir. “But we also wanted to make the cemetery a welcoming place for the local community to come for their physical and mental well-being. The Green Flag judges commended us for giving visitors a meaningful experience and this is of huge importance to us.”

The cemetery contains a new garden of remembrance, scenic accessible pathways and seats for families and friends to meet, and a zone dedicated to wildlife study and education.

The cemetery also provides a fascinating insight into local history: a team of volunteer genealogists are researching the stories of those who came to rest in the grounds, and offer support to individuals, from across the globe, who are searching for the memorials of family members.

“The cemetery has become much loved by the people of this town, and its future is a bright one,” says Community Engagement Officer Kate Campbell. “It has also shown itself to be a unique venue for events. We’ve had choirs and poets perform here, school trips, yoga and tai chi classes, nature workshops on everything from bees to compost. We really encourage people to get in touch with us if they would like to hold their event in this beautiful setting. And more importantly, with the Green Flag recognition, we hope that even more members of the community will continue to be inspired to use this place for peace of mind and body.”

The Green Flag Award judge summed up: “This is an exceptionally well thought through, designed and executed community Cemetery restoration that sets a high bar for community engagement and activities. At the heart is a small team … who are to be congratulated and celebrated for their achievement. “

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

Follow us on Facebook:

If you would like to be involved in the continuing care and maintenance of this special place – either through volunteering or donations – or if you would like to explore the cemetery as a possible venue for your event, 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.

Press enquiries regarding Rectory Lane Cemetery

Contact Kate Campbell, Community Engagement Officer on:
07866 024254

Or Lauren Wilson, Volunteer on:

For more information visit

News Location

Rectory Lane Cemetery

off the High Street Berkhamsted


News Details