St Peters Graveyard Conservation Project
Churchyards are often areas of ground that have remained uncultivated for years, and as such, they have the potential to be havens for wildlife, where plants and animals can thrive amongst the graves and monuments.
With the agreement of Coventry Diocese and Stratford Town, Cllr Cohl Warren-Howles is heading up the project and with the help of a group of environmentally focused volunteers is developing this churchyard into a Conservation Area.
The project aims to create areas of grass of different lengths to provide maximum diversity for wildlife. Yellow Rattle seeds have been sown to increase species diversity and wildflowers will be introduced that are indigenous to this area. This will encourage insects, butterflies, birds, bees and small mammals. Invertebrates like butterflies need specific plants in order to breed. Some species require long grass on which to lay their eggs. They visit areas like this graveyard in search of food ie) nectar from flowers.
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. They support healthy ecosystems. The UK is home to over 250 species of bee. But bees are in trouble. A quarter of bee species are under threat. The project is doing its bit to help them.
The once common hedgehog is now under threat from development and habitat loss. In just 10 years, their numbers have fallen by 30% and there are less than one million left in the UK. This churchyard can make the perfect home for them.
Pesticides are not being used, and the grass will be mowed less frequently, to ensure that the wildlife can thrive. This project aims to strike a balance, a churchyard managed with understanding can provide an important refuge for diversity of wildlife, as well as a pleasant, reflective sanctity for the local community.
If you have a similar project that you are working on, or that you are looking to start, please get in touch. If we share information, we can all benefit. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Our group is passionate about protecting the Earth, our life support system. It is amazing what our communities can do when we work together in this gentle revolution!