Nature in Ryde Cemetery
Trees, Shrubs & Plants
The Cemetery is home to a huge variety of plants, some were planted as part of the design and layout of the Cemetery and graves, and many are self seeded.
The largest plants are the trees that have survived from the original planting scheme carried out in 1863 by Mr F. Cooke of Newport, he charged £95 for the work. His bid was was one of five tenders that were submitted to the Cemetery Committee and was accepted in October 1862. If we assume that the trees planted were semi-mature it is possible that some of the trees may now be more than 150 years old.
Trees and Shrubs to be Found in Ryde Cemetery - Link to a list compiled by the IW Gardens Trust in 1999. RSHG Tree map - This link opens a printable image showing a plan of the Cemetery with the location all the trees listed by IW Gardens Trust marked.
Next in size are the shrubs which were planted in the original hedges surrounding the Cemetery. Over time, some shrubs and cultivated plants have been planted on some of the graves. There are many rose bushes and some have been left to grow wild without pruning and have now reverted to their original root stocks.
The Cemetery was developed on meadows and farm land, and because it has had minimal interference over the years, apart from regular cutting of the grass and annual cutting back of the hedges, it has an abundance of wild flowering plants.
List Of Plants Found Growing In Ryde Cemetery - List completed by the IW Natural History Society in 2001.
Spring is the start of the flowering season, and primroses and bluebells cover vast areas of the ground in the Cemetery.
The meadow flowers come in to their own in the summer months and, if the strimming regime is not too rigorous or regular, make a picturesque sight and attract many flying insects to the area, which in turn attract the birds.
In autumn the brambles (that are considered a nuisance for most of the year) yield a large harvest of juicey blackberries. There are many interesting types of fungi to be found in the Cemetery, but unless you are an expert in identification of fungi it's probably not a good idea to eat any you might find in the Cemetery.
In winter the rosehips and the red berries on the holly bushes and yew trees add a welcome and vibrant splash of colour to the Cemetery and provide a food source for the many birds that live there.
Without formal guidance, we have been able to identify many wild flowers and herbaceous plants that grow in the cemetery. We have also checked the tree survey carried out by the IW gardens Trust in 1999. Unfortunately since 1999 several of the trees have either fallen, or been cut down.
In the winter of 2006/2007 a large tree in a garden of a house to the south of the New Cemetery fell into the Cemetery during a storm. When it fell, it destroyed part of the old stone wall that separated the Cemetery from the land that once belonged to the Nurses Home, now a private housing estate - fortuntely no headstones or memorials were damaged.
If you would like to help find, identify and record any of the wildlife to be found in Ryde Cemetery please get in touch by using the Contact Us link below.