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Home > Action Zones > Politics and Social Action > Churchyard wildlife watch for International Biodiversity Day

Churchyard wildlife watch for International Biodiversity Day (May 22)

Thursday 12th May 2011
church yard
Photo Caption:Scything in a churchyard
Shrinking the Footprint, the church of England’s national environmental campaign, is encouraging churchgoers to spend time following in the footsteps of Rev Gilbert White and other naturalists to take a closer look at the wide variety of wild plants in their churchyards.
Shrinking the Footprint is a partner in the UN International Biodiversity celebrations. There are an estimated 10,000 churchyards around the country, which in total cover the same area as a small National Park.
The Diocese of Bath & Wells officer responsible for the environment is David Maggs. David says: “The number of wildlife friendly churchyards is growing across the Diocese, with many churches thinking through one or more actions that help support wildlife.
"Bat boxes were one of the factors in Holy Trinity Nailsea receiving an Ecocongregation Award – along with their action to promote composting in the churchyard.
"Bird nesting boxes and feeders are increasing, as are areas that are left to go “wild” – with wildflowers re-emerging to brighten the churchyard and provide nectar for insects. It can also be a reason to need less grass cutting – St Michaels Cudworth uses sheep to keep the grass short in its wildlife friendly churchyard!
"In more urban places other things are possible and can be of particular value to the wider community. St Stephen’s in Bath is one example where they are developing a Community Wildlife Space with the help of 16-25 year old volunteers.”
If you would like some free advice about how your church can better care for this amazing planet, please contact Pete Hawkins, Churches Environment Consultant to the Diocese of Bath & Wells at