Extreme weather brought by a changing climate is eroding the cemetery’s gravel paths and overwhelming its historic drainage systems.
Freinds of Highgate Cemetery Trust is on the hunt for designers and architects who can help reverse the affect long-term decay and maturing self-seeded trees are having on monuments in the burial ground.
The trees in the cemetery, which is the resting place of well known people such as Karl Marx and Lucian Freud, are being afflicted by new pests and diseases.
The trust, which owns and cares for the cemetery, said these impacts were undermining the historic landscape design and reducing the wildlife in the Grade I-listed north London site.
Conservation action is needed to maintain the “enchanting” atmosphere of the cemetery, preserve its heritage, improve facilities for staff and volunteers and provide it with a sustainable future as a green, wildlife-rich oasis in the city.
Martin Adeney, chairman of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, said: “We will be working with the local community, cemetery volunteers and experts so that the trees, paths, monuments and buildings will be better looked after, the cemetery will continue to function as an active burial ground and visiting will be easier and more rewarding.
“Having saved the cemetery from dereliction in the 1970s, and secured the major monuments, the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust is now looking at how this world-famous resting place of so many distinguished people can be conserved and enhanced for future generations.
“We will ensure that the cemetery remains the place of enchantment which so many people value, whose carefully-tended natural environment provides sanctuary for those buried here and their loved ones, as well as the thousands who visit.”
Additional reporting by PA Media.