Churchyards can be biodiversity hotspots, supporting a huge variety of plant and animal life. They have the potential to make a huge difference to the ecological diversity of our Diocese. Managed sensitively to meet the needs of nature as well as people and heritage, they become an important refuge for a wide range of the plants and creatures that we share this beautiful earth with.
We have the opportunity to make a significant difference to the call to preserve 30% of UK land for nature by 2030 with over 2000? acres of land under the umbrella of our Diocese.
By managing our churchyards to support and increase biodiversity, we also have the opportunity to connect in new ways with our communities, by inviting them to share in their peace and beauty and to become partners in projects to develop them for nature. A good first step is to join in with the “Churches Count on Nature/Beautiful Burial Ground Project” initiative from Caring for God’s Acre which has resources to help you run a nature count with your church, school, or wider local community.
The Diocese has a membership of the Caring for God’s Acre will help and support churches wanting to make changes and provide monthly news articles relevant to the topic. For more information contact:
Creating a management plan for your churchyard will help everyone to understand how the area is looked after, not only to benefit nature but for people and heritage too. Eco-Church has some guidance on how to prepare one here: management plan.
We already have a wealth of knowledge and some beautiful burial grounds managed for nature in the Diocese to inspire us. These case studies from St Leonard’s in Yarpole and St Laurence’s in Church Stretton are also great examples of community engagement.