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We have a balance to find with Highgate being a historic site and a cemetery

14 February, 2019

Highgate Cemetery ‘is to create a wider range of opportunities for visitors’

• THE brevity of your headline, (Cemetery… Owners oppose public access, February 7) may have alarmed readers into thinking that we wanted to keep the living public out of Highgate Cemetery. Far from it.

In fact, our policy is to create a wider range of opportunities for visitors to experience the cemetery, especially the west side which can currently be visited only by guided tour.

Those responding to our consultation helped us by identifying issues we need to be concerned about: practicalities such as health and safety and security, and the importance of providing a tranquil environment for grave owners.

These may all take some time to sort out, but are not insoluble. And a balance must be struck between operating as a cemetery and our importance as a historic site.

At the moment, due to concerns about the safety of graves and trees, our insurance does not cover general public access to the West Cemetery. There is much work to do before it will.

Highgate Cemetery is one of the world’s finest cemeteries, and the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust is proud to be its custodian. The cemetery is important to different people for different reasons.

Our new conservation plan, which will be up on our website soon, sets out how we propose to balance all these interests and keep what is special about the place.

ADAM COOKE
Chair, Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust

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