Cherishing Churchyards Week

The Beautiful Burial Ground Conference in York


‘Learn simple ways to create a haven for wildlife, for heritage, for people.’

'The Beautiful Burial Ground' conference, a one-day event organised by the charity Caring for God’s Acre (CfGA) on Wednesday 29th June at Heslington Church, York.

The Beautiful Burial Ground conference is for anyone involved with or interested in the care and conservation of church and chapel yards, cemeteries, crematoria and green burial grounds. The event, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will also interest naturalists, historians, educationalists and community workers. 

A host of different speakers and organisations will be giving advice and information through keynote speeches and workshops.

Caring for God’s Acre is enlisting support for the conference from experts such as Russell Ball, tree specialist and founder of Fund 4trees to talk about the care of burial ground trees. Julie Rugg of the University of York’s Cemetery Research Group will speak aboutthe social history of churchyards, whilst Professor Harold Mytum from York will give a talk ‘Beyond names and dates: why memorials are so important’. Not forgetting the wonderful nature in burial sites ‘Urban Buzz in Churchyards is the title of a talk by Andrew Cutts of Buglife.           

CfGA workers are running workshops on topics from managing burial site grassland for conservation to raising funds and recruiting volunteers. There will be a variety of displays on show with a chance to talk to people from other conservation organisations. Conference organiser Andrea Gilpin said ‘This is the final conference in a series of 15 that have been put on across the country over the last four years – we plan to celebrate with a really special conference in York, and all are welcome’.

Sue Cooper, the manager of Caring for God’s Acre, said ‘The charity is the ‘go to’ organisation for advice on burial ground conservation and this conference, which is part of a national series, will help people to realise how important they are to our heritage and how to take care of them and involve others.’ ‘Burial sites are wonderful places for history, nature and people’. Added Sue.

Caring for God's Acre champions the conservation of burial sites of all kinds. It is a membership charity, which individuals and community groups are welcome to join. There is a helpful website at providing useful information on conservation management and the charity's activities.

Places are limited on the conference and booking is essential. The cost is £15 to include lunch and refreshments.

To book a place at the conference call: 01588 673041 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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