Chris Baines talks to Jim Logan about slow worms at St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bromfield, Shropshire. You can download a guide to amphibians and reptiles here https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/A-Guide-to-Amphibians-and-Reptiles-in-Burial-Grounds.pdf
Chris Baines, one of our patrons, explains the relationship between yew trees and holy places. Some yew trees are thought to be 3,000 or 4,000 years old, pre-dating the Christian land on which they stand. You can download a Guide to Ancient Trees
Our Patron, Chris Baines, introduces the work of Caring for God's Acre and encourages people to become members - if you would like to join us, please visit this page https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/support-us/become-a-member/
Across the UK there are wonderful burial grounds. Some are managed sensitively and are full of wildflowers in the summer months. We have been pulling together a selection of these which we would recommend visiting. The map and details of the sites can be found here: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/burial-grounds-to-inspire/ To see the flowers at their best, late May to mid or end of July is usually the best time to visit. This map will be regularly updated. We would love to hear from you if you have enjoyed visiting any of these sites or if you have any recommendations of sites that could be featured. To find out more about managing burial grounds pop to https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/
iNaturalist is great new tool on your phone for when you are out and about recording species - take it everywhere, photo species even when you're offline, and upload them later.
Caring for God's Acre are striving to build a comprehensive map of wildlife records in England and Wales. You can contribute as well. https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/about-recording/share-multiple-records/
Recording Species Because many burial grounds have been dedicated green space for years, sometimes centuries, their plant and animal life is often rich and diverse. We are hoping to encourage visitors to burial grounds to record species that they encounter and these records can then be added to a database which we are compiling which will be accessible by all. Anyone can make a recording by noting down some details – all records are useful, even of common plants, grasses, birds or other wildlife as they help to monitor the rise or decline of species over a period of years. The type of information needed is quite straightforward - your name, what you saw, the date and the location! For more information on how to help visit: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/recording-2/
Burial grounds and churchyards offer a haven to butterflies, moths and a host of other insects such as shield bugs, beetles, ladybirds and grasshoppers. In this film we chat to entomologists about why they love visiting burial grounds to discover invertebrates. To see information about how to manage burial grounds in a way that is sensitive to invertebrates and other wildlife visit: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/action-pack/havens-for-wildlife/ ‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’ Sir David Attenborough
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.
Species rich burial grounds can be a fabulous source of local wildflower seed to help restore other areas. We have been involved in collecting and donating seeds to various initiatives, ranging from small roundabouts to long stretches of verge. This video explains the great work taking place across Shropshire as part of the Stepping Stones Project, based in the Shropshire Hills. This is a landscape project aimed at creating wildlife corridors and stepping stones between the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones, both of which are wildlife havens. If you would like to find out more on how to increase the diversity of flowers in your burial ground feel free to: View our other YouTube videos including this one on the importance of grassland: https://youtu.be/Z7aIt-GU-Ts Browse our advice sheets https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/action-pack/ or contact us at the office [email protected]
Nestled right in the heart of our communities, churchyards and burial grounds can be used as outdoor classrooms, full of natural, local and social history. To find out more about engaging people in these wonderful sites pop to: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/action-pack/action-pack-section-d-involving-people/ We also have a very popular Education Pack covering five topics, each containing several activities and ideas, including photographs, worksheets and templates. Activities are tied in with the National Curriculum and available FREE to download in both English and Welsh: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/education-pack/
Lichens are everywhere. Burials grounds are one of the most valuable ecological sites for lichens due to their longevity, traditional management and abundant rocky surfaces. Here April Windle gives an introduction to the wonderful world of Lichens. The filming for this video took place at St Andrew’s Church, Kenn, Devon. Thank you to everyone who enabled us in this. https://burialgrounds-places.nbnatlas.org/places/10026397
How to thread and use a hand hay baler For plans on making one yourself, please pop to https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/the-story-of-a-hand-hay-baler/
Baling churchyard hay with a home made wooden baler. For the plans please pop to: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/the-story-of-a-hand-hay-baler/
Many burial grounds contain ancient grassland, full of a diversity of species. Our Botanical Companion helps you to carry out your own survey, counting all the different plants, grasses, ferns etc. The Botanical Companion helps with identifying your finds and is available in English and Welsh on our website here https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/resources/the-burial-ground-botanical-companion/