Love Your Burial Ground Week
(Formerly known as Cherishing Churchyards week)
Join in with this dedicated week to celebrate your burial ground!
This year it runs from Saturday 5th to Sunday 13th June.
In addition we are starting a special partnership with the Church of England, the Church of Wales and A Rocha, called Churches Count on Nature.
Together we are asking churches to use Love Your Burial Ground Week as a springboard to start recording the wildlife within their churchyards. So, if you fancy running a wildlife spotting event in Love Your Burial Ground Week then please join in with Churches Count on Nature so that we can see how popular this is. Please fill in this form to register your activity and we will send you a link to a page where you can download various resources to help.
We know that it has been hard in the last year to visit our favourite beauty spots, but we have all learnt to value our local green spaces, and at Caring for God’s Acre, many people have been in touch to tell us how much they have enjoyed the peace and closeness to nature that a burial ground can bring. Whatever the government guidance when Love Your Burial Ground week comes around, we are sure that many different types of Covid secure events can be run.
Burial grounds can be ideal paces for social distancing, even if you have to control the number of people coming in at any one time. Families may pick their own time to enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt, for example identifying certain types of trees or finding particular dates or decorative motifs on headstones. Or why not invite local residents to record the nature that they see and write it up on a blackboard in the porch? We can help by sending you copies of our Starter Guide for beginners to wildlife and heritage identification and recording. Have a look at the Guide at www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/starterguide and email email@example.com if you would like a copy in the post. Do look for ideas for families in our Education Pack, such as a min-beast safari www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/Wildlife-Safari-Mini-beast-Mania.pdf
We are all hoping that by June we will be able to meet up outdoors, even if in small numbers. For up-to-date government Covid-19 secure advice please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for activities in England and gov.wales/coronavirus for Wales.
If you are planning a different type of activity or celebration; a history walk, a community picnic or a conservation task perhaps, then please join in with Love Your Burial Ground Week as usual and fill in the form below to register your activity with us. You should receive an autoreply with a link to various resources – please check your spam if this does not come through.
You can also download Love Your Burial Ground Week registration form 2021 (pdf) form and return it to us.
Whatever you are planning, please take part, let us know and join us for this special week to celebrate churchyards, chapel yards, cemeteries and burial grounds of all types.
Many churchyards and burial grounds have been valued and loved for hundreds of years. People who are now responsible for their upkeep are part of a long line of generations who have taken up the management baton. But it isn’t easy. The things that make these sites special – lichen encrusted headstones, ancient monuments and species rich grassland, are also things that can give rise to complicated and sometimes contentious management decisions.
In short, being a custodian of a community’s burial ground can be both physically and emotionally demanding (and probably always has been!). This is why our charity began – to support people in the task of keeping burial grounds beautiful, accessible and connected to their communities.
The last point is important – ‘connected to their communities’ and is why we started a dedicated week – national Love your Burial Ground Week (formally Cherishing Churchyards Week) nine years ago. It takes place in the second week of June.
During this week groups run an activity (or sometimes five!) to highlight to the wider community the wealth of heritage their unique site contains.
Activities in previous years have included teddy bear picnics, family bug hunts, dawn chorus (followed by breakfast!), illustrated talks, wildflower identification, tower tours, family history, memorial recording, volunteer work party sessions and more.
So why not join us next year and celebrate your burial ground?
Watch our 3 minute film below to find out more, and scroll down for a list of past activities.
Click through some of the past events that people have held for ‘Love Your Burial Ground’ week.
or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request up to 5 free hard copies