Dartford – East Hill Cemetery
About this Cemetery
East Hill Cemetery is a small south facing closed cemetery with chalky soils, semi-improved calcareous grassland and parkland exhibiting many large veteran trees.
The site has been disturbed many times throughout history due to the land-use type. There are many undulations where the ground has sunk and settled throughout the years, after graves and burial sites were dug into the land. There are many graves without head stones that now give large areas for wildflower meadow creation.
The Dartford Borough Councils Countryside team aim is to increase the pollination corridors by improving the nature network across the borough. East Hill Cemetery is a site where the creation of a small wildlife area is helping to increase species richness and abundance through wildflower meadows.
After years of intensive land management as a cemetery, the site is now being managed to promote wildlife and biodiversity. Yellow rattle is being sown to open up the grass swards; to increase in species richness, and to reduce and control the abundance of Cocksfoot and Yorkshire fog. In the parkland area of site, ground flora diversity is reduced, predominantly English Ivy, due to the shade of the ancient and veteran trees; it is still great habitat for invertebrates, and further habitat piles are being created. There is a good variety of chalk herbs including Lesser and Greater Knapweed, Spear Thistle, Ladies Bedstraw, Biting Stonecrop and White stonecrop to name a few. With the jewels sparking through the grasses; the pyramidal orchids and large swathes of ox-eye daisies.
There are a number of mature trees at the site, with Yew, Beech and Sweet Chestnut being the main species present.
The best time of the year to visit East Hill Cemetery is during the months of May to August; this is when the wildflowers are at their best.
Key Species Present
Pyramidal Orchid Common Blue
Birds Foot Trefoil Silver Studded Blue
Ladies Bedstraw Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Mouse Ear Hawkweed Meadow Brown Butterfly
Ox-eye daisy Gate Keeper Butterfly
- Wildflower area
- Wildlife haven
- Peaceful space for quiet reflection
- Great for fungi
- Good accessibility
East Hill Cemetery
147 East Hill
8am – 7pm 1st April – 1st October
8am – 4pm October – March
Dartford Borough Council Countryside Team
There is the main tarmac path that runs from the entrance through the middle to the rear of the cemetery. There are narrower paths that have a tarmac base but have been covered with grass, these run around the outside of the cemetery as well as having connecting paths to the main drive.
The nearest public toilets are located at Heskith Park which is a 5 minute walk from the site.
There is no seating at the site.
Parking & Transport
There is no parking for the site. Parking will need to be found on the roads surrounding the cemetery. Sussex Road sits opposite the entrance.
The nearest train station is a 15 minute walk to Dartford Station.
The nearest bus stop is Livingstone Hospital which is a 2 minute walk from the entrance.
There are a number of cafes located within easy walking distance of the site.