Cherishing Churchyards Week

Beautiful Burial Ground Project

 Buttercup identification at Whitton Church Shropshire Caring for Gods Acre SML

We are delighted to announce that the National Lottery has awarded Caring for God’s Acre a £586,700 grant for the Beautiful Burial Ground Project. 

This project will put burial grounds on the map, by revealing the hidden heritage and wildlife of burial grounds across England and Wales.

Citizen scientists will be at the heart of the activity. 

We will:

  • Create a bespoke database with interactive map where individual burial sites can be mapped, linking biological records to a particular site, easily accessed by all and linked to other national heritage databases.
  • Encourage citizen science, historical and cultural recording and research to give a holistic picture of the range of heritage present.
  • Support people new to this type of recording are via events, workshops, online films and information.

By creating a lasting and accessible record of the built heritage, social history and biodiversity of thousands of these precious community sites, the project aims to encourage more people to visit them, and ensure they are cared for into the future.

During development the project received much support from existing volunteer recorders along with many heritage organisations including the National Biodiversity Network Trust, the Church in Wales, the Church of England, Historic England and Natural England. Caring for God’s Acre will now start working with these and over 40 other partner organisations across England and Wales to deliver this ambitious initiative.

The four-year project begins now.

Thank you Heritage Lottery Fund and all the players of the National Lottery for supporting us!


english compact cmyk SML


Caring for God’s Acre National Project

Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund  

The four year National Project ran from 2012 - 2016. It encouraged and supported people to conserve churchyards and burial grounds across England and Wales. 

For a sumary of how the project went click HERE.

National Project comprised:

  • 15 one-day regional conferences – For people managing churchyards/burial grounds/cemeteries across all denominations and non faith based sites, delivered in partnership with local organisations and covering the natural and built heritage (community involvement, memorial care, genealogy, tree care, grassland management, interpretation, health and safety etc).
  • 15 case studies – Fifteen churchyards/burial grounds will feature as case studies representing various conservation and heritage priorities and issues.
  • 30 specialist heritage skills training days – Training in heritage related skills (e.g. dry stone walling, hedgelaying, scything, biological recording) based in churchyards and burial sites.
  • Advice materials. On the web and hard copy. A Conservation Action Pack in hard copy and individual sheets available as downloads.
  • Help line – Manned every Monday for people managing their churchyards or burial grounds.
  • Promotion of National Cherishing Churchyard Week - Helping anyone wishing to run a special event in their local churchyard.
  • Website and E-newsletter – For publicity of case studies, training materials, other organisations’ initiatives, conservation information, events during Cherishing Churchyards Week etc.
  • Teacher’s Pack – To encourage and support Primary School teachers to make use of these sites for school study.

The project was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Jean Jackson Charitable Trust, Patsy Wood Trust and Paul Getty Jnr Charity Trust.

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Special time limited projects are developed and managed by Caring for God’s Acre to help with meeting the main aim of supporting the conservation of churchyards and burial grounds.

Presently there are two projects running:

Churchyard Task Team Project

CTT and church vols pulled it out for webJoin the Churchyard Task Team volunteers.  Discover new skills, care for country churchyards, and enjoy beautiful surroundings in good company.  Click here for further information.




 Sacred Spaces through the Ages Project

63 stained glass 2 for webA three-year project running until 2013, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas.  Click HERE to find out more about Sacred Spaces and Words and Wildplaces.




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