A NEW work group has been set up to maintain a cemetery in Malvern.

Malvern Civic Society has set up a sub group to work on the Victorian Cemetery.

Meeting each month, the group discusses progress and organises working parties at the Cemetery on the third Monday of each month.

The group is appealing for new input from schools, individuals and groups to preserve and regenerate the cemetery. Roger Sutton, from the Civic Society, said: "The cemetery, which is much neglected, is of considerable historical importance as it is the resting place of many of the people who lived and worked in the town at the end of the 19th Century.

"The Chapels and associated buildings were listed Grade II in 2018 and it is a haven for flora and fauna as well as being the largest open space in the town – although most people are unaware.

"We would like to generate some community interest in our project – volunteers, schools’ historical projects."

There are a total of seven thousand graves in the Victorian section of the cemetery with some containing multiple burials.

Only about one thousand have memorials.

The cemetery first opened in 1861 as a result of the Metropolitan Interment Act which permitted burials in consecrated ground outside churchyards.

It is fourteen acres in extent and contains some fourteen thousand graves, divided into two parts, pre 1950 and later, with a further section of three acres designated as an extension.