The churchyard at St Mary’s is wildlife treasure.
The land has never been intensively managed or subject to chemical fertilisers or herbicides which make it a unique and special place. It is managed very specifically to increase biodiversity for flora and fauna and provides niche habitats for many insects, small mammals and birds. Various zones are managed to create different environments; you can find out more by looking at the management plan. At certain times of the year the grounds may appear ‘untidy’ but nature prefers it this way and we are happy to let the wildflowers grow and scatter their own seeds. You will notice that in corners of the churchyard piles of wood have been deliberately left to give shelter and will rot down providing valuable food for decomposers.
The churchyard is a peaceful and tranquil haven that can be enjoyed by humans too. Explore the grounds and see what you can spot. There are many things to look out for such as the ancient yews which are amongst the oldest in the whole county dating back many centuries. During the winter the ground is blanketed by snowdrops, in spring the primroses are a welcome sight amongst other early flowers. By the summer wild flowers grow within the tall grasses and in autumn many very beautiful varieties of fungi appear. The memorable stones provide special habitats to lichens and sloe worms and newts have been spotted. Take a while to sit, stop and listen to the birdsong or just the wind rustling through the trees. Relax and feel at ease and enjoy this very special place that we want to share.
In the church there is a new display with lots of news and updates regrading the environmental work that has been carried out and how the churchyard is managed throughout the year. In addition you will find numerous guides and resources to enable you to enjoy your very own wildlife safari in the church grounds.
There is something that will appeal to all ages and everyone is very welcome; don’t forget to share the discoveries you make on your safari.