Update – Summer 2024

We have had exceptionally difficult weather conditions this year with a lot more rain than usual. We are balancing public access and the place as a burial ground with the national Church’s clear guidance on increasing biodiversity in graveyards.  The Church has committed to seeing how biodiversity can be increased on Church land and we share that objective as a parish. 

We have been advised that areas of churchyards should be left unmown to allow sward and rare species to grow up and flower.  The Church of England has published guidance for parishes on increasing biodiversity.  It includes leaving areas of long grass, creating wildflower areas, putting bird and bat boxes, keeping bees and encouraging hedgehogs. We are currently developing a parish diversity action plan as well as cataloguing and finding ways to promote wildflower growth and provide habitats for animals and insects.  This has meant adjusting mowing plans with less frequent strimming and only maintaining paths. 

We are conducting regular wildlife surveys, and are planning to join the A Rocha Eco Church scheme, and are engaging with local young people on the wildlife and biodiversity of the churchyard.  We support families in maintaining individual graves following normal Church of England guidance.  We work very hard with very limited resources and a small congregation to best preserve the beautiful Church and its lovely rural setting. 

Our Church and churchyard are beautiful and many love walking through this part of a much cherished and ancient local landscape with such special trees and hedgerows in what is a unique and unspoilt valley location.  Maintaining good paths and access involves a lot of work and expenditure and this year’s weather conditions with the huge amounts of rain have added to rapid vegetation growth and other challenges.  The graveyard is also on a slope and the ground is very rough which adds to the complexity of maintaining it. 

We welcome any newcomers to the team of volunteers who clean and maintain the Church if they would like to get involved.

As we work towards our Eco Church awards, below are some ideas about how we can all become more eco-friendly, at church and at home.

How much energy do we use? What steps can we take to reduce our energy consumption?

• Undertake a personal carbon footprint audit: www.climatestewards.org/offset

• Switch off lights and plugs

• Reduce heating thermostat by 2 degrees

• Use energy efficient light bulbs

• Close windows and doors properly to prevent drafts

• Wear another layer of clothing

Plastics, Paper, Glass and Food waste: Reduce. Recycle. Reuse.

• Recycle all our plastics, paper, glass and food waste at home and at church

• Reduce amount of plastic we use

• Use a re-usable water bottle

• Use a re-usable box for snacks and lunches

• Reuse junk for craft activities

What small, good things can we do to make a big difference?

• Plant insect friendly flowers and wildflowers

• Plant more trees

• Mow less often

• Recycle and reuse as much as possible

• Compost food waste

• Reuse rain water

• Grow our own fruit and vegetables

• Pick up litter

• Consider making ethical investments with our personal savings

• Consider making ethical decisions when buying food, drink and clothing

Some other useful resources:

Useful links for saving money on energy, going green, etc:

Links to the Church of England’s Guidance on Churchyard Management:

Caring for God’s Acre

Churchyard Wildlife