Concern has recently been expressed about the condition of St Day churchyard, especially on the St Day Notice Board Facebook page, so, hopefully, the explanation below will clear up the situation.
St Day churchyard is divided into two sections, an open section and a closed section, and we also have a burial ground, run by the Parish Council. The closed section is the responsibility of Cornwall Council and is the area from the entrance gates, running around the Old Church on both sides and finishing at the concrete marker posts (these are roughly half way between the end of the Old Church and the bottom wall of the churchyard and are not always easy to see as they don’t run in a straight line). The lower, open, section is owned by St Day Parochial Church Council (Holy Trinity Church) which has the reponsibility for its maintenance.
For approximately the last 15 years St Day Parish Council has organised the grass cutting in both sections of the churchyard, knowing that St Day PCC doesn’t have the funds to look after its section and that Cornwall Council would only provide sufficient funds for 3 cuts per annum in the closed section. In 2017/18 St Day Parish Council received a grant of £547.73 from Cornwall Council and spent a total of £2,155.62 on grass cutting in the open and closed sections, thereby contributing over £1,500 of its own funds to the grass cutting in the churchyard.
St Day Parish Council’s policy has always been to allow the wild flowers to grow during the Spring each year and then not to cut back the Spring growth until the seed heads from these wild flowers have dropped, usually sometime in June. This policy has ensured that, whilst the churchyard might look untidy for a short spell in May and June, we have a wonderful display of primroses, bluebells, wild garlic etc., every Spring.
Sadly circumstances have conspired against us this year – the extremely wet weather in February and March followed by hot conditions through June and July have meant that the seed heads have not dropped as early as they usually do. Added to that our contractor has had staffing problems with his most experienced worker leaving in the Spring, immediately before his busy period, and this has left him having to work very long hours to try to keep up to date.
He is extremely apologetic for this delay, as is the Parish Council, but he has assured me that he is now in a position to start work this week (w/c 09 July) so hopefully the churchyard will shortly be looking much better.