Yardley Cemetery is a huge, historic, public open space to explore and enjoy in Acocks Green. It’s also a short cut for people living around Clay Lane who want to get to Yardley Rd for the number 11 bus and perhaps AG train station. However most people wouldn’t think of wandering or cycling through the graveyard. Why is this? Is it the association of death, the great certainty and yet the great taboo? Is it because it makes us face our own fragility and mortality? Or are we scared of the ghosts?!
Cottesbrooke Walking Group (that meets on Wednesdays) regularly takes advantage of this traffic-free haven. We walk, chat, look at gravestones, enjoy the changing seasons and make the most of the space for what it is – a green and tranquil place with hidden corners, history and calmness. Of course there are aspects of sadness associated with any graveyard. They make us think of those we have lost, but also give us an opportunity to reflect and think about what we have and how we should make the most of our time on this earth.
But this tranquil green space should not be a place just for reflection. It is a place bursting with greenery and nature and can offer people a chance to enjoy the outdoors, feel connected to the natural world, give some escapism from frantic city life and, best of all, it’s on our doorstep.