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Renovation work readying Cassino War Cemetery for 80th anniversary

The CWGC has begun important horticulture work on Cassino War Cemetery and Memorial, one of its flagship sites in Italy in preparation for the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino to be celebrated in May 2024.

The works are aimed at renewing the layout of the cemetery site, narrowing the borders and repositioning the plants and roses involving an international team of 16 specialists from the CWGC Italian and Belgian regional offices.

Starting with a detailed study of the soil, species and plants found in the cemetery, the works are taking place in two phases. The first phase completed on the 17th of March, involved the first 10 plots of gravestones on the site between the entrance and the water basin in the centre of the Cassino War Memorial. The second set of works will be starting in September and during both sets of works Cassino War Cemetery and Cassino Memorial remain open to the public.

The new planting scheme set up by the CWGC in Cassino anticipates extreme weather conditions as a consequence of climate change such as heavy drought with high temperatures in summer and the possibility of frost in Winter. The scheme also fosters soil enrichment and enhancement of biodiversity within the cemetery.

We are planting a wide variety of non-invasive, drought-resistant plants with an extended flowering period such as dianthus flowers and a mix of sedum and anti-splash plants. These were chosen to attract and accommodate more native insects. Our work to improve the soil quality is also expected to have a positive impact on soil organisms and the Cemetery as a whole.

As part of CWGC sustainability policy, we are not using chemicals in the borders of the cemetery for a positive effect on wildlife, insects and soil organisms and all the border plants removed from Cassino have been reused in other sites close by, such as Minturno War Cemetery on the South-western coast of Italy.

The completed first phase.

The team after a job well done.

Tags Cassino War Cemetery Horticulture