About Caring for God’s Acre
We began as a small Shropshire based initiative in 1997 after being inspired by the National Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project (LCCP). Caring for God’s Acre was established in 2000 as a national charity, promoting the conservation of burial sites and supporting the volunteers who look after and maintain them. There are around 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries. Often these sites have been set apart for centuries and as such offer much needed refuge for our native wildlife of all varieties – plants, mammals, invertebrates, reptiles.
Many burial sites are managed by a few volunteers who are keen to preserve both the monuments and the wildlife but want guidance on how best to achieve this. Our input can help them to preserve rare species of plants and wildflowers and we advise on management of grassland to encourage wildlife whilst still allowing access to visitors and relatives. Issues such as lichen on gravestones and monuments falling into disrepair are also part of our remit and we run a telephone and email advice service for burial ground managers, signposting to other experts if required.
Our staff are trained and qualified ecologists and conservationists and we have a wide network of contacts for further specialist advice if needed. Our many dedicated volunteers undertake tasks ranging from botanical recording, conservation work in burial grounds and helping to spread the word by giving talks.
Our regular activities include:
- producing learning resources for education and for practical assistance with conservation tasks, such as our Education and Action Packs;
- running training courses to help people identify and record species in their local burial grounds;
- adding these records to our growing database at https://burialgrounds.nbnatlas.org/ ;
- hosting national Love Your Burial Ground Week in June each year which encourages burial ground managers to hold awareness-raising ecological events which are accessible by all;
- maintaining an ever-growing library of resources on our website for download;
- organising a Shropshire-based conservation volunteer group to practice on the ground what our message promotes
- running a membership organisation which promotes our values, produces regular newsletters and encourages best practice in burial ground conservation
President: HRH The Prince of Wales
Patrons: Sir Roy Strong CH, Lawrence Banks CBE, DL VMH, The Rt Rev’d Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, Dr George Peterken OBE, Prof Chris Baines, Prof Stefan Buczacki