New trees for churchyard after clearance work

A STALYBRIDGE church is to be given a new wooded area in its grounds after sterling clearance work was done by volunteers.

Parishioners of St Paul’s on Huddersfield Road have been hard at work preparing the area for work that will make it better.

They have teamed up with the City of Trees project, which will oversee the planting of 620 trees.

Members of the St Pauls community preparing the ground around the church. Photo by Gemma Carter

Wild flowers and bulbs will also be planted, as well as new communal areas created.

Branches have been chopped back, brambles tamed and bags of rubbish cleared in readiness of it becoming an area where children can learn about forestry.

It will also be a bomb site – as several ‘beebombs’ of handmade wildflower seed balls will be planted.

And the Reverend Emma Handley, of St Paul’s, believes a start of the work could lead to greater community involvement.

She said: “People moan for the sake of it but others have gone, ‘We’ll help.’ We asked church members to sponsor a beebomb and practically everybody, more than 70, have sponsored.

St Paul’s Church, Huddersfield Road, Stalybridge

“Now those in charge say they’re happy to donate the seed and use the money on other things to help strip the grass back to help them take.

“There will also hopefully be a prayer garden, where people can come and sit.”

St Paul’s was once the site of the main graveyard for Stalybridge but the Rev Handley added: “At the moment we’re doing sessions every week until things get established.

“And as restrictions ease, things can move on. City of Trees will do the planting for us and they said it’s an ideal site for them.

“They sort the trees out at no cost to us and will help prepare the land. The trees will be in copses, not as a blanket.

“And we’d love the nearby schools – Copley, Wild Bank and St Paul’s – to have a copse of their own, all being well.”

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