Sunday, 12 June 2011

Living Churchyards

If you think your church could do more to help local biodiversity by caring differently for its churchyard, get in touch with Yorkshire’s Living Churchyard Project, run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

The purpose of the Yorkshire Living Churchyard Project is to promote the management of churchyards and burial grounds in ways that are sympathetic to the natural habitat and ecology of native plants and animals. At the request of local people, members of the Project make advisory visits to Yorkshire churchyards and burial grounds to survey the wildlife present and draw up a suitable management plan. A large number of parishes, after a visit by the Project’s volunteers, have become self–reliant and successful in developing their churchyard or burial ground as a well–kept haven for wildlife that still remains a place of reverence and remembrance, the last resting place for our forebears.

Taken together, the 1300+ Yorkshire churchyards make a significant area of land that has survived untouched by pesticides and herbicides or by intensive agriculture and urban development. Many native plant and lichen species and their associated fauna survive only in churchyards.

Visit their website, and have a look at their brilliant booklet giving advice on how to manage your churchyard. Elizabeth Hardcastle is the Project Officer, and she will be pleased to discuss any thoughts or aspirations relating to your churchyards.

Eleanor Course

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