16 August 2012
Churchyards are important open spaces, especially in urban areas where greenspaces are often fragmented and provide a wide range of environmental benefits to both people and wildlife.
We view churchyards as community spaces and, with the help of local Friends and Volunteer groups, look after 85 churchyards in England and encourage a greater connection between local communities and wildlife.
Why not spend this August exploring your local churchyard to see who’s residing there! Lots of species – including frogs, bats, birds, badgers and perhaps even rare slow worms – reside in these unique habitats and you may even spot rare plants and lichens such a Toothed Medick or the golden Caloplaca aurantia found at our largest churchyard – St Georges, Portland.
Visit the churchyard of St Martin’s in Preston Gubbals, Shropshire, and see our attempts to edibalise the churchyard! Are the pears and apples ready for harvesting? Will you spot any amphibians amongst the grassy areas, reptiles within the woodchip mounds or stag beetles within the log piles?
Churchyards truly are fantastic nature reserves and are accessible to all – go and visit your local churchyard and see what you spot! To find your nearest CCT church, visit here: http://www.visitchurches.org.uk/
For more information on what The Churches Conservation Trust is doing for wildlife, see here: http://www.visitchurches.org.uk/AboutCCTourwork/Conservinghistoricchurches/Caringforourenvironment/
Isabel Assaly from The Churches Conservation Trust
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