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  • Volunteers Clean Up Withams Cemetery

    Withams’ Cemetery set to get much needed care

    This weekend the ESG, Gibraltar Heritage Trust, concerned citizens and a group of young people on a Young Enterprise Scheme called “Green Change,” started a clean up in what will be part of an ongoing programme of refurbishment and restoration at Withams Cemetery.

    Ahead of the clean up and widespread weeding, Andrew Abrines, a flora expert from the Botanic Gardens, was consulted for advice on the presence of important plant species. Although the wet weather eventually put a stop to the energetic efforts of the volunteers much vegetation and litter was removed. This work will continue over the next few months.

    One section was tackled with a particular focus on cleaning around the damaged tombstones and Claire Montado, Heritage Trust Chief Executive, was on hand to provide advice and guidance to volunteers.

    “The Gibraltar Heritage Trust has coordinated a number of clean up campaigns with a number of voluntary groups within Witham’s Cemetery over the years and has always had the problem of long term management of the cemetery on its agenda. The main issue of a heritage site such as this one is the fact that it is tucked away within a residential area, and with no frequent visitors has become over grown, full of rubbish and many of the graves have fallen into disrepair. The cemetery provides a valuable green space and when managed can provide a peaceful spot in this area, just as the Trafalgar Cemetery does. This latest cleanup with the ESG has highlighted the potential of this site and the continued desire of the community to see it remain as a green area. More importantly, the Trust has recently received the welcome news that the landscaping of the cemetery has been included by Government within the scope of the adjacent Plata Villa project. The detail of what and how is done is still at the early stages, but it is clear that this will breathe life back into the site and ensure its survival for future generations to enjoy”.

    The ESG is happy to support voluntary efforts under the CUTW banner for community based projects such as Withams Cemetery believing the area also offers a valuable green space to residents and the rich biodiversity present.

    Mojib Benhakim, Managing Director of GreenChange adds, “GreenChange involvement at the Witham’s Cemetery cleanup has provided an ideal opportunity for our Young Enterprise group to extend our concerns and make a change to our local environment and community. We got a chance to get hands-on in an issue we feel strongly about. We shall be launching our exciting new environmental business under the Scheme in early December. We would like to extend our gratitude to the ESG and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust for their support and actions in making Gibraltar a cleaner more environmentally greener community to live in.”

    The organisers wish to thank all volunteers who helped on Saturday and to Anglo Hispano for their help and co-operation on the day. Volunteers will be needed to continue the clean up over the next few months – please contact the Heritage Trust on 200-42844 or the ESG on 200-48996 to sign up if interested.