The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

St Peter’s Gardens Reimagined Project 2020 Update from our Church Warden Jane Styslinger

St Peters Churchyard-Re-imagined

St Peter’s has partnered with Dorset Wildlife Trusts’ “Urban Green” initiative (“DWT”) to re-imagine our environs closest to St Peter’s church to turn this terribly neglected and unkempt space into a sanctuary for wildlife and an attractive and safe area that will delight visitors, residents and congregation members.

We were awarded an initial grant by DWT of £10,000.00 which commissioned the design by the award winning JPS. As well as having the support of the Parks Department, BCP Council has also supported this plan with the grant in May of £20,000 from its CIL fund. AFC Bournemouth and Rotary Club of Bournemouth are also proud partners and have made grants totalling over £2,500.

The main thrust of the design project is beautiful new planting in areas closest to the church ignored and neglected. We have already started  to clear  around graves , the Resurrection Chapel and grounds which are now covered in rhododendron, nettles and brambles, to make way for a beautiful planting schemes in the Fall. Areas identified for change are used heavily by drug abusers and the level of needle and drug paraphernalia is shocking.  No one wants to use these grounds and visitors and churchgoers alike do not feel safe in the environs of our church. Our main themes are areas of prairie grasses and wildlife meadows plus a bluebell wood.

We are also putting in a wildlife trail and a heritage trail. Fun for children to use and visitors alike. They will benefit from explanations about fauna and wildlife and will enjoy walking the wildlife trail. The grounds will become beautiful and accessible and will signpost all of our famous residents from the world of literature, music and history. Literature and history – Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelly. Music and history – Constantin Silvestri, Sir Dan Godfrey and the mother of Hubert Parry are buried here. And finally, the man regarded as the founder of Bournemouth, Lewis Tregonwell.

Mark Richmond who works for Fresh Start has been hired to run the programme of works and we have been using volunteers from the church, local residents and the ex- rough sleeper community to do the initial massive grounds clearance task. He has run projects at the Lighthouse in Woking and at Brookwood Cemetery with huge success and accolades from Woking Council.

We are several weeks in with another few to go. See the flyer for days where the team will be on site which as a rule are Mon-Weds every week through end September. A huge thank you to all who have come to lend a hand so far – your help and camaraderie has been very much appreciated. To all others, please, please, please come on down and lend a hand if you have a couple of hours to spare – we really could use as many willing volunteers as possible and we’re running out of time.

Let us transform the grounds and return this space into the beautiful historic site it used to be – in our town centre!


Jane Styslinger

BTCP Church Warden