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The Beautiful Burial Ground Project Wins Award

11th July 2022
CIEEM 2022 Awards Winner LogoWe are absolutely thrilled that our Beautiful Burial Ground Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been awarded the Best Practice Award for Knowledge Sharing (2022) by the CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management). This award ‘recognizes the high standard of professionalism and ecological environmental management practice’ and has been given for the project’s contribution to sharing the natural environment with people.

NBN Atlas screenshotThe Beautiful Burial Ground Project team have been sharing knowledge about the built, natural and social heritage of burial grounds since 2018. The project will finish in late 2022. The activities on the biodiversity side have involved encouraging wildlife recording in burial grounds, submitting records, and making those records accessible to the general public, recorders and those managing these special places. The project has developed a Beautiful Burial Grounds Portal within the NBN Atlas (National Biodiversity Atlas) which is pioneering the use of the NBN Atlas for a specific project.


Recording - photo credit David SmartWith fabulous partners and recorders the project has delivered over 150 training activities for over 2000 volunteers. There have been many sessions specific for people with disability needs such as those with mobility, vision or hearing impairments. Now more people can enjoy identifying wildlife and submitting records to the national database (NBN Atlas) which everyone can access. We have also encouraged groups to run their own recording activities – for example during the last three years of Love Your Burial Ground week over 800 events were organized – ranging from small bug hunts with local school in churchyards to BioBlitz’s in large cemeteries.


‘When someone says ‘come on a nature walk’, you don’t expect to be taken to a cemetery.  Our two hours in Longden Cemetery in Shrewsbury proved to be an exciting way to spend a few hours.  Our guides, Mark and Jenny were so informative.  Within a few yards, we had found wild flowers, a spectacular fungus, a parasitic wasp, which gave everyone the shivers, an ancient type of apple tree and enough creepy crawlies to fill a jam jar.Thanks to George from Caring for God’s Acre who ensured that the event was disability friendly, with tracks that could accommodate electric scooters.  We had a fabulous time and are looking forward to the next walk…
Workshop attendee from Shropshire Disability Network


To date the project has directly resulted in over 42,000 new records. You can search the NBN Atlas to find what species have been found in your local burial ground

Thanks George (and Rob) I've been out every day since with my newly acquired magnifying glass, thanks to the inspiring day in Clunbury. Janie, ShropshireWorking in partnership with the NBN, the Church of England and the Church in Wales, most burial grounds across England and Wales have been mapped and the next step is to bring this biological data into the church planning system so that site managers have an idea of the biological value of their sites, with supporting information on how to look after them in the best way.

Many aspect of the project will carry on beyond the project. We will keep encouraging and supporting people to identify and record the wildlife in burial grounds – helping grow the understanding of, and excitement in, these unique places. We are also adding historical records to the database where permission has been given.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who have been involved, to our funders, partners and the Beautiful Burial Ground Team – Harriet, Liam, George, Prue, Anna and Andrea

To find out how to join the Citizen Science side of the project pop here

If you have any questions about the project please contact Harriet: [email protected]