A NEW Remembrance Garden will be opened tomorrow in a previously overgrown area of York Cemetery, creating hundreds of additional plots for cremated remains

The quarter-acre site alongside Cemetery Road has been cleared of vegetation over the past three months and a natural stone path laid to give full disabled access.

Cemetery manager Wendy Harrison said: "We were very keen to restore this area, which will give us space for a further 200 plots for caskets containing cremated remains. It is near the cemetery entrance and will give good access for the elderly and disabled.

" When planting is finished it will look lovely. We are very keen to provide more space like this for those people who have lost their loved ones and want to visit an area like this with good access."

Head groundsman Rob Harris, who carried out the work with grounds staff Oli Clarke and Jake Harrison, said: " I have wanted to tackle this area for years and now it is nearing completion it has opened up this whole area and improved the garden dramatically."

Cemetery trustee Jenny Hildyard said she was delighted with the transformation. "The staff have done a wonderful job and we look forward to completing the planting in this now lovely and restored garden," she said.

Meanwhile, the nearby 'Cross of Sacrifice' has been cleaned and repaired by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in time for a service of remembrance on August 4, which will mark the start of the First World War. The commission has also funded the laying of new stone paving around the cross by Rob Harris.

The service, which will take place at 2pm in the cemetery chapel and marquee, will be conducted by the Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Sarah Bullock, and there will readings and a performance by musician Simeon Wood.

Tea, home made cakes and other light refreshments will be served after the service, and people can visit an exhibition about the cemetery’s war dead and see special WW1 themed art textiles and commemorative quilts.

*The Remembrance Garden will be formally opened at 3pm tomorrow by Alf Cahill, one of the cemetery geologists.