Friends of Havant Cemeteries win National Lottery support

Friends of Havant Cemeteries have received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project: to enhance the environment and share the heritage of our local cemeteries by adding an information board, new gates and a bench to the historic Dissenters’ Cemetery and a further information board at the junction of New Lane and Eastern Road, Havant. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the social history of the area and its wildlife, both flora and fauna.

The group intends that the gates (replacing old gates, one of which was stolen), information boards and bench at the entrance to a previously derelict area will change attitudes and draw attention to a historically important area now being sensitively managed. In our regular volunteer sessions we are also making headstones safely accessible through regular maintenance and reinstating of old pathways visible in 19th century maps. Later on in the project the group will be running an open day, in conjunction with the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, to invite people into the cemetery for guided walks, a butterfly count and photography sessions.  Support will also be provided for researchers to investigate family histories from inscriptions on headstones.

Commenting on the award,  Christopher Evans, chairperson, said “We, the Friends of Havant Cemeteries (FoHC) are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant which will enable us to make improvements to the historic Dissenters’ Cemetery and the New Lane Cemetery. All of this is designed to make the area more welcoming, and encourage local residents and visitors alike to explore the cemeteries, which provide a wealth of social history and are a haven for wildlife.”

The Friends of Havant Cemeteries, formed in 2014, concentrates on caring for the Dissenters’ Cemetery and St Faith’s Church Old Cemetery; both now unused.

The focus of the Group is maintenance but also to raise awareness about the natural and social heritage of these two cemeteries, and encourage enjoyment of wild life in a small mixed industrial area of the Borough. The Group carries out regular sensitive maintenance and restoration, and the areas will continue to be wild life friendly. Our HLF grant will help to make the cemeteries more accessible, facilitating research and enabling people to identify their own place in history by researching their ancestors and discovering unexpected local connections.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Christopher Evans via the Contact form on this website  or by email friendsofhavantcemeteries@gmail.com

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