Hotspots so far

Burial grounds in Wales contain lowland meadow habitat and many are the responsibility of local communities to manage. Situated in the heart of communities, these sites can act as islands of high quality habitat and become seed banks for wider habitat restoration.

However, via our work with many groups over the years, we have identified that this species rich grassland is under threat from a wide diversity of things including:

1) Lack of species data available to appropriately plan management
2) Lack of awareness of the significance of the habitat
3) Mismanagement and loss of biodiversity – particularly due to scrub encroachment
4) Change of ownership and management responsibility
5) Lack of resources (people and money) to bring habitat into better condition and reverse decline

The purpose of this project is to work with 8 churchyards in the Mid Wales Area to:

1) Engage volunteers in grassland surveying via training and support materials
2) Consult and work with each community to find practical solutions and draw up management briefs for each site
3) Identify training needs and deliver training (e.g. managing grassland/scything)
4) Raise the profile of the habitat within the local community to engage volunteers to practically help with management
5) Identify sites that can become seed donors for the local area and those that should be recognised as Local Wildlife Sites
6) Showcase the 8 sites on the CfGA and Church in Wales websites as best practice sites to inspire others (including contact names for site visits/peer support)

 

Eight Burial Grounds are involved in the Hotspots Project:

St Andrews Norton, Powys
Eglwys Oen Duw Beulah, Powys
St Peter’s Glasbury, Powys
St Stephen’s Llanstephan, Powys
St Michael’s Llandre, Ceredigion
Saint Sannan’s Bedwellty, Monmouthshire
Maes yr Helm Chapel Llanbadarn, Ceredigion

The grassland surveys have now been undertaken with the local communities  and we have found some special species! The species lists are now with the groups and will soon be publicly available to view on the Beautiful Burial Ground portal on the NBN Atlas. However if you would like copies before the portal is ready then do let us know.

Some of these burial grounds now have areas of well managed flower rich grassland so will feature on the Local to You part of our website.

Some photos of activities so far

8 Botanical ID sessions – here finding a lovely grass – Quaking grass in St Andrew’s Churchyard, Norton


4 scything training days, here scything at St Steffans, Llansteffan

Scything at Norton