Visitors to Gibraltar’s Trafalgar Cemetery can now fully appreciate the historical site’s natural splendour as well as its cultural heritage. The cemetery is home to 83 species of trees, many of them planted over the past few years, and work has just been completed to label them all – with plans to add further interpretation.
Specimens include mature and naturally occurring wild olives, specimens of narrow-leaved ash, and exotic species such as Turkish Oak, Atlas Cedar, Camphor Laurel and Brazilian Fire Tree. The Trafalgar Cemetery also now has Gibraltar’s only Sweet Chestnut, which was transferred to the site last year from its previous location at the old Westside School in Queensway.
The Trafalgar Cemetery is overseen by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust on behalf of the department of the environment and climate change, with horticultural and arboricultural work carried out by Greenarc.
Vanguard Cave Discovery
Meanwhile, it has just been revealed that archaeologists from the Gibraltar National Museum have discovered a large chamber at the back of Vanguard Cave, which is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of its more renowned sister cave, Gorham.
According to the government, the Vanguard cave was first excavated in 1997 and a project was launched in 2012 with the aim of determining if it had had passages and chambers that were plugged by later sediment.
Nine years later, preliminary investigation by the archaeologists revealed a 13-metre chamber on the roof of the cave which had been sealed for at least 40,000 years.
Initial surface finds have reportedly produced remains of lynx, hyaena and Griffon Vulture, as well as scratch marks on the walls produced by a yet-to-be-identified carnivore. There is also a large whelk that must have been transported up to the chamber (even today it is well away from the coast) and evidence of ancient earthquakes.
Commenting on the discovery, heritage minister John Cortes said, “These are exciting finds that open a new chapter of our rich history. Knowing Vanguard cave well, I often wondered what might lie behind the sands. Now we are beginning to get a first glimpse.”