Graveyard homes
for bats and birds

Volunteers with the new bird boxes at Layton Cemetery
Volunteers with the new bird boxes at Layton Cemetery
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A Blackpool graveyard is being turned into an unlikely haven for wildlife.

Dozens of handmade bird boxes have been attached to trees in Layton Cemetery in the hope of attracting winged residents to nest there.

Nick Tipton a community volunteer helps put up the bird boxes in Layton Cemetery

Nick Tipton a community volunteer helps put up the bird boxes in Layton Cemetery

And the next step will be to hopefully put up bat boxes among the tombs.

The 72 wooden bird boxes have been made by adults with learning disabilities, who built them as part of their woodwork classes at the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living on Whitegate Drive.

The scheme is the second stage of a campaign to make the area a more pleasant place to visit.

All of the bird boxes have now been handed over to the cemetery staff to be placed in the tree tops across the 22-acre cemetery on Talbot Road, which opened in 1873 .

Leisure chiefs say the project shows how volunteers can help improve open space in the town at a time when spending cuts are putting more and more pressure on council services.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council, said: “This is a wonderful project.

“Not only does it help to improve the cemetery for everybody who visits but it also means the community volunteers can put their work to good use.

“The volunteers are a fantastic group who are always extremely positive and enthusiastic about making Blackpool better and they’re doing a great job of it.

“Their hard work, combined with the good use of the community payback offenders, means the cemetery now looks splendid going in to the summer and I’d encourage locals to go and take a look at the improvements.

“With an ever-reducing budget, we’ve had to think differently about how we deliver services, and working with volunteers and dedicated friends groups is a great way to make sure the cemetery continues to be looked after for years to come.”

The work is the second stage of a partnership which has seen Layton Cemetery become the ‘best it has been for 40 years’ according to one local councillor.

Layton ward councillor Martin Mitchell used the term earlier this year when describing the work that community volunteers, along with low level offenders from the community payback scheme and council officers, had done to keep the area clean and tidy.

The groups carry out grass cutting, trimming of grass edges and picking up litter every Wednesday afternoon.

They have also transformed a rundown old mortuary building into facilities including a kitchen area for the workers.

With the new bird boxes now being installed, the group is now starting work on building a collection of bat boxes to be ready in the summer.