PEOPLE living in Charfield will soon be able to remain within the parish long after their death thanks to a new cemetery.

Work has at long last on the new Charfield burial ground being created on land adjacent to St James’ Church, on Churchend Lane.

For more than 10 years anyone living in the village has been unable to be buried within the parish boundary because existing graveyards such as the one at St James’ Church are full.

After an appeal to local landowners a plot of land at Churchend was donated by the Earl of Ducie, from the Tortworth Estate to Charfield Parish Council.

Work has now started on the first phase of the project to turn the field into a burial ground.

The first phase, which will cost between £15,000 and £19,000, will include the clearing and levelling of the ground, installing the hard standing for the parking area, new gates for vehicle and pedestrian access, and some planting.

Hannah Saunders, clerk to the parish council, said the first phase should take four to six weeks to complete.

She said: "It is going to be a few more months until the burial ground is able to become operational – but it is great to see work start at the site."

Before the first phase can start in earnest archaeologists are on the site photographing, measuring and drawing plans of the remains of an 18th century barn that was found.

Once the find has been recorded it will be covered with up to eight inches of soil so the barn is preserved under the parking area.

The initial phase of the project has been paid for by support and grants from local businesses Jarvis Jefferies, KLH Landscaping, Cemex and a grant from the Aggregates Levy.

In the future the parish council plans to install an oak timbered shelter, restore the well on site and repair the stone dry walling.

For more information on the burial ground go to