A week of events is to take place in June to celebrate wildlife in churchyards and cemeteries. 
St John's Church, Duxford Adrian Powter

Parishes and Communities across England can now register for a week-long event in June to celebrate wildlife in churchyards and cemeteries.

From wildflowers to insects, birds and mammals, all creatures great and small have found a haven in the UK’s burial grounds for centuries as the land has been largely undisturbed.

During Love Your Burial Ground Week and Churches Count on Nature (June 8-16) everyone is invited to explore these special places and help survey what they find.

Organised by Caring for God’s Acre and supported by the Church of England, the Church of Wales and A Rocha UK, the week-long initiative comes on the back of the Church of England’s commitment made at the General Synod in February to promote and record the biodiversity in its churchyards.

Children fill in a nature count sheet with kneelength grass filled with flowers shown on the lefthand side which is part of a churchyard or graveyard Caring for God's Acre

Events taking place range from biodiversity ‘nature counts’ in churchyards, to memorial recording and tours in urban cemeteries. People can join in recording the wildlife they find using the iNaturalist app. There will also be a series of webinars during the week that anyone can join.

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, the Church of England’s lead bishop for Environmental Affairs, said: “I hope many congregations will take part in Love Your Burial Ground Week and Churches Count on Nature. It is a great way to engage local people with the biodiversity around them, as well as offer a missional invitation to become involved with the life of their local church.

“Last year I particularly enjoyed finding out about some of the colourful rare lichens that grow on gravestones. These wonderful species are all part of God’s rich creation, reminding us that churchyards are places of the living, not just the dead!”

Over the past three years, 1,300 events have taken place, involving more than 24,500 participants and resulting in 37,355 wildlife records being submitted.


Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/media/press-releases/communities-set-celebrate-all-creatures-great-and-small-churchyards