Restoration needs volunteers

The St Patricks Graveyard in Dalzell Estate, Motherwell, is looking tired and overgrown over 200 years since the kirk was demolished. Pic courtesy of Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership.

The St Patricks Graveyard in Dalzell Estate, Motherwell, is looking tired and overgrown over 200 years since the kirk was demolished. Pic courtesy of Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership.

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Volunteers are required to help with the restoration of the historic St Patrick’s Graveyard in the Dalzell Estate, Motherwell.

Linked to St Patrick’s Kirk, which was demolished in the 1798, the graveyard, also known as Old Manse Cemetery, contains monuments from the 1700s to early 1900s.

The project is part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP).

Several groups will be carrying out work and the public can get involved too with volunteer days taking place tomorrow (Thursday) and Thursday, August 25, from 10am-3pm.

After clearing away the excess vegetation, participants will have the opportunity to work with experts in historic graveyards to update the record of gravestones in the cemetery.

North Lanarkshire Council’s senior conservation officer Toby Nevitt explained the important contribution this work will make to the ongoing restoration effort.

He said: “An up-to-date record of gravestone condition is essential to inform future conservation.

“The information obtained by volunteers will help us to draw up a restoration plan which will be put in place over the winter months.

“We’re also looking forward to further volunteer opportunities to improve the landscaping of the graveyard and make it easier to maintain in the future.”

The project is one of a number focussing on the conservation and research of designed landscapes and historic graveyards in the local area.

Other projects include restoration of historical features in Dalzell Estate including the ha-ha, restoration of ancient parkland at Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve and the recent successful clearance of privately owned Mauldslie Graveyard by Clydesdale Community Initiatives volunteers.

Donna Marshall, CAVLP programme manager, said: “An important legacy for these projects is capacity building.

“It’s fantastic to see regular volunteers during the conservation days at sites throughout the Clyde and Avon Valley, and we hope that new volunteers feel inspired to join in with the fantastic work that is taking place in caring for the landscape.”

Training and advice will be provided throughout, anyone interested in getting involved should call 01236 780636.