The vision is to transform the graveyard into a land-mark where the local community and visitors alike can enjoy the tranquility of a urban meadow. The site will be enhanced by the introduction of appropriate local flora and fauna which will not only significantly improve bio-diversity but also provide an opportunity for ecological education.
Coal mines, copper smelters, tin plate works, steel-mills and the port made Swansea what is it today, and most of our ancestors who lived in Swansea during the past 150 years worked in one or several of these industries. They grafted, raised families, watched their children die young, worked in conditions that today would be unthinkable, and died or were killed on the job. They have earned our respect many times over during many decades and we need to be prepared to respect their final resting place.
We are currently preparing a detailed map of the graveyard to allow relatives to locate the graves of their ancestors. This is will take some time given the number graves, and unfortunately identifying some of the graves will not be possible due to their condition.
There are over a thousand of our ancestors buried in the graveyard and as a result redevelopment of this land is not economically viable. Anyone thinking about developing the graveyard has three intractable problems
The site is overgrown with native and non-native plants which need to be cleared before any progress can be made. The best time of year to treat the most prevalent plant, Japanese knotweed, is late summer when it draws nutrients down into its underground rhizome system and by introducing herbicide at this time it is also drawn into the roots, thus weakening the plant.
If you visit the site bear in mind
There are no graves in the lower 20 metres of the graveyard so please keep away from the retaining wall along Carmarthen Road.
Japanese knotweed is widespread across South Wales and it is here to stay! In addition, Swansea has the dubious honour of being the knotweed capital of the UK.
Rather than chase the unrealistic target of eradication the approach will be focused on control. Improvements to the graveyard's appearance over the next few months will be short-lived as the knotweed will start growing in spring, and by the end of summer the graveyard will be overgrown...just like last year. Herbicide treatment will then begin with a combination of spraying and injection with a glyphosate-based herbicide - an ongoing programme of treatment and monitoring will ensure this persistent plant is managed over the long-term.
All knotweed control work will be carried out by the aptly named Knotweed Control Swansea Limited, who are one of South Wales' leading authorities on non-native invasive species and their control.
All work and herbicides application will follow relevant legislation and best practices in addition to being undertaken by appropriately-qualified and experienced professions. Prior to any work, full environmental and ecological assessments was completed. Treatment schedules will be published in advance on this website and notices posted at the graveyard whilst treatment is underway.
The herbicide safety warning states "People, pets and wildlife need not be kept out the treated areas. It is best not to walk in areas where the spray is still wet as transfer to other vegetation may lead to unwanted damage to other foliage. Once the spray is dry this cannot occur".
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