Grave Maintenance Scheme

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery started the Grave Maintenance Scheme (GMS) back in 2013 and have refurbished nearly 50 graves over the years in the Western Cemetery.

We have two parts the Scheme, a One-off Clearance of a grave and the ongoing Maintenance of the grave.

If you have a grave that you would like to be part of the scheme we will need from you the Location of the Grave

Please quote the Cemetery section and grave plot reference number on all correspondence.

The plot reference number can be obtained from Blackburn with Darwen Cemetery Office on 01254 202021 or email

(If you know where the grave is but do not know its plot reference number we can mutually agree to arrange a date and time to meet in the Cemetery)

Work can only be carried out if the Grave is in a safe working area and is free of Japanese Knotweed.

One-off Clearance

The one off clearance does not include any work required to the existing headstone and possibly to the kerbs depending on how heavy they are, we will advise you if we feel any other major work is necessary and provide you with names of good local monumental masons for a quotation.

The friends can only prepare a grave space where the gravestone is securely fixed and the area is safe for our volunteers.

When the location has been confirmed the Friends will supply a Quotation for the work needed on the grave to bring it up to the standard of other graves already in the scheme, if you would like to see other graves already in the scheme.

Click here to see other graves in the scheme

Once the cost of the project has been agreed we will provide you with an image of the site prior to work being undertaken and you will also receive an image after the work has been completed.

Work carried out

Once the payment has been received the Friends will plan to include the one off clearance of the grave in to the working program, we should be in a position to undertake the work within 4 weeks (depending on weather, volunteer numbers and other work we have already scheduled), when the grave is completed we ensure the grave space is left in an easy to maintain state. (terms and conditions apply).

Click here for Terms and Conditions

If the grave has no kerbs we can add the kerbs if required, we have now standardised all our refurbished graves using a grey rope effect paving edges and grey dolly corner posts.

Grey Rope effect edges and Grey Dolly Posts

We will remove the top 5cm of soil / grass and the grave space will be covered in a high quality heavy duty weed control membrane

Good Quality Menbrane

and the area will be covered to a depth of 5cm with white stone chipping

White Spa Chippings

The cost will depend on how much work is required to prepare the grave space and the cost of the material used.

All the work carried out on the grave will be by volunteers and the money raised will be put back into the Friends of Darwen Cemetery to go towards other projects in the Cemetery.

Here are some examples of the graves we have completed over the years.

The above grave had all the sides intact and needed digging out the soil and grass from around it , a membrane has been fitted with white spa chippings added.
The above grave, all we had was a plot number, with help from Billy the cemetery grave digger we able to find its exact location, we have removed the soil and grass, fitted our standard edges and corner dollies, membrane and white spa chippings
The above grave, the headstone was in good condition and needed no work to it, we dug out the soil and grass, fitted our standard edges and corner dollies, membrane and white spa chippings.

If you would like to see more of the graves we have completed click on the below link

More Photographs

Annual maintenance scheme

Once the gravesite has been completed, as outlined above, and if you are unable to maintain the plot yourself we can provide you with details of our annual maintenance scheme, if agreed the Friends will then maintain the grave space four times a year, the scheme starts in October through to September and we visit the grave in December, March, June and September.

The Friends we will clear the grave of any weeds and grass cuttings, we will cut the grass around the plot and rake over the chippings. (Terms and Conditions apply)

These schemes do not include any planting.

Click here for the Terms and Conditions

The costs

The cost of the one-off clearance scheme will depend upon the amount of work required and materials required.  

We will provide you with a quotation of the cost prior to any work being undertaken.

The annual maintenance scheme will cost £30.00 per year (correct as at October 2022).

FODC July 2021 updated December 2022