Cherishing Churchyards

Wednesday 31st May 2017

Churchyard by Juliet Hawkins

To celebrate Suffolk's churchyards as a haven for wildlife Suffolk Wildlife Trust is holding a series of churchyard discovery evenings throughout Cherishing Churchyard Week from Saturday 3rd June

Churchyards can be oases for wildlife in a wider landscape that has seen many changes. They are often rare remnants of lost grassland habitat and have many intrinsic qualities that benefit wildlife. The varying lengths of grass, headstones, pathways, mature trees and shrubs, as well as the outside of the church building itself all provide vital habitat for nesting, breeding, feeding and refuge for a wide range of species. 

As part of Cherishing Churchyards week, Tracey Housley, conservation adviser at the Trust will be running three events at churches across the county. At each event visitors will be able to find out more about the church and the wildlife found in its grounds. All events are free to attend and take place on; 5 June, All Saints Church, Hollesley; 7 June, St Peter's Church, Westleton; and 9 June, St Mary's Church, Great Bealings. Tracey will be joined by stag beetle expert Colin Hawes in Great Bealings, where he will be speaking about his work to protect this fascinating and threatened species. As part of the evenings Tracey will be inviting visitors to get involved in a mini wildlife-audit, identifying and recording species found on the night to log with the biological records centre.

Tracey said: "Suffolk Wildlife Trust has worked with churches in many of the parishes across Suffolk and it is clear that, increasingly, people are starting to see their local churchyard in a different way, recognising its value as a green resource for the community and wildlife, without detracting from its original purpose and as a place of quiet reflection and contemplation. Many parishes are embracing the practice and making a few simple changes to the management of their churchyard, such as cutting some areas of grass less frequently to allow wildflowers to thrive or allowing some areas of scrub to develop to benefit birds and insects."

• Full details of the events can be found on our events listisngs pages

For more information about managing your local churchyard with wildlife in mind please contact Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089. The advice directory on the Trust’s website is also a good place to start and has a dedicated churchyard and community wildlife section.


Contact: 01473 890089



Tagged with: Species