Highgate Cemetery set to undergo conservation review

The trust which manages Highgate’s world-famous cemetery has announced plans for a major conservation review.

As well as being home to the graves of more than 170,000 people – including Karl Marx and George Eliot – the cemetery is also blessed with an array of diverse wildlife.

The chief executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, Dr Ian Dungavell, said views from interest groups would be sought before a plan was drawn up to ensure the site remained sustainable for years to come.

Dr Dungavell addressed the Highgate Society’s annual general meeting last week and talked about the trust’s recent activities.

Afterwards, he said: “Lots of different people have interests in the site – relatives of those buried there, neighbours, visitors – and for different reasons, whether for the heritage or the wildlife, so it’s about reconciling these views.”

Opened in 1839, the cemetery is Grade I listed in the English Heritage register of parks and gardens of special historic interest.

Dr Dungavell said the review would first map the heritage, plants and habitats at the site, before wildlife, heritage and residents’ groups were consulted.

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A conservation plan will then be drawn up.