Our churchyards (and even buildings!) are safe havens for a wealth of species, sometimes rare and protected species. If you are lucky enough to have a churchyard or glebe land, below are links to offer advice on how to encourage and protect biodiversity and how to discover what your acres are home to.
Wilder Churches with the Somerset Wildlife Trust
Initially, we are encouraging people to simply find out what wildlife their local churchyard already has, as well as getting to know those already involved with its management. Through ongoing online training, we will then support communities to identify ways they could help wildlife in their local churchyard, as well as to communicate their ideas, consult others and come up with a plan that works for the church, wildlife and the community.
Encouraging bees and other pollinators
Beekeeping is a very rewarding hobby but also an essential one. In the UK alone, there are around 250 species of bee responsible for pollinating around 70% of the crops we depend on for food, but many species are in decline as a result of disease, habitat loss and land use changes. Keeping honey bees can help ensure that crops and wildflowers are pollinated, thus increasing our food security and helping to maintain the biodiversity of our beautiful country.
As Christians, we are very conscious of the importance of stewarding God's creation, and beekeeping in churchyards is one way this can be done. More churches are placing hives in quiet areas of their churchyards both for stewardship and for the other benefits beekeeping brings. The Bees of Gods Acres Project in Norfolk utilise their hives not only for honey and beeswax, but also as educational tools and a source of income. Take a look at Thomas’s in Oxford successful hive programme.
If you are interested in beekeeping or just attracting more pollinators do download our helpful guide.
Who to contact
Sara Emmett, Climate Justice and Environment Advisor