Friends' Nature Group

The nature group was formed to help preserve the unique heritage in the cemetery for the townsfolk of Newbury, not just those buried there, but for anyone who wanted a quiet place to sit or to visit their relatives interred within its walls.

The group regularly liaises with Newbury town Council on the management of the cemetery with regard to preserving the flowers and trees growing there and also their future growth through land management.

Nature News for the year 2020

Back to the current year.


Here you will find all the Nature Group news articles from 2020.


Nature Group Meeting

Date written: 31 October 2020
Author: Andy Cantwell

The Nature Group met in the cemetery last weekend and were joined by Chris Lusby Taylor, a specialist in fungi. Despite the grass recently being mown a surprising number of fungi were found and identified. 

Please see some of the photographs taken by Andy Cantwell and Elizabeth Capewell.


Bugs and Butterflies

Date written: 30 July 2020
Author: Paul Thompson

The Nature Group gathered in the cemetery last weekend for a Nature Walk. Despite the wet forecast, the weather was dry so a pleasant afternoon was had by all in attendance.

Chris Foster made some notes of what was seen and heard and are listed below with some photographs, which he has kindly allowed us to show here.



  • Gatekeeper (abundant, 5+ together at one point)
  • Meadow Brown (1 – 2)
  • Common Blue (1 – 2)
  • Small Copper (1)
  • Large White (1)

Grasshoppers & Crickets

  • Roesel’s Bush cricket (abundant in the wild areas especially where grass is long)
  • Common Green Grasshopper (1 photographed)
  • Field Grasshopper (abundant in shorter, sunbaked areas near paths)
  • Meadow Grasshopper (1 or 2 heard but likely to be abundant)


  • Athysanus argentarius – a leafhopper. According to the British Bugs website, “Historically considered scarce and confined to coastal areas in the south-east, this species has now become established inland across parts of central and southern England and can be found in a variety of grassland habitats. Further records are of interest.”

© FNRC (Pictures are copyrighted to Chris Foster)

Bursting with Life

Date written: 09 July 2020
Author: Paul Thompson

We may not have been allowed in the cemetery for several months, but in that time the animals, birds, butterflies and flora have had it all to themselves and loved every minute of their solitary occupancy... with the exception of those who cannot disturb them!

Andy Cantwell has been monitoring the goings on and has captured some really beautiful pictures and he has kindly allowed us to publish them here.

© All pictures are the copyright of Andy Cantwell

Life in Cemetery Lockdown

Date written: 04 July 2020
Author: Paul Thompson & Elizabeth Capewell

Whilst we have been locked out of the cemetery, life has continued for the flora, fauna and fungi inside its walls.

Elizabeth Capewell has been taking some photographs to show us all how nature is enjoying lockdown.


Orchids in the Cemetery

Date written: 16 June 2020
Author: Paul Thompson

Elizabeth Capewell spotted this beatutiful Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) in the cemetery this week.

Having not previously heard of it before (which is normal for me), I looked it up and found it is fairly common in graveyards and cemeteries. It is said that it requires a very specific fungus to be present in the soil for it to grow. I did not enauire as it what that might be!

For more information on this lovely flower, visit this website. (Checked as Safe)


View previous 'Plant of the Month' Entries

Website designed and maintained by Paul Thompson on behalf of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery.

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