Bourton on the Hill successfully applied for a diocesan wildlife garden grant and are making some big changes with a very small spend so far. The Revd Dana Delap tells us about what they have achieved.
“The community at Bourton was exploring the long term future and sustainability of an abandoned area formally known as the allotments. Conversations about allowing parts of the graveyard to re-wild, and not using flowers wrapped in plastic or oasis caused a helpful kick-start to Bourton Community Gardens Project.
“A fraction of the grant has so far been spent, but already there have been significant changes to the church’s corporate sense of responsibility for recycling, using sustainable cleaning products, etc.
“We have installed a bug hotel in the churchyard which has attracted some interest, especially from ladybirds. The church gardener has been instructed to work towards allowing the growth of wild plants in Paupers Piece, a discreet area of the churchyard. By strimming twice annually we will survey the wild flowers that grow through the season in 2020 and supplement those which thrive, while re-introducing wild flowers that we know grow in the area already.
“A chance conversation at Moreton Show in September about sustainability in the graveyard led to a gift of £250, which will join the £200 we still have from the grant to buy our first beehive. We know that bees find Paupers Piece attractive, having hosted a smarm last summer, and a member of the congregation will work with Shipston on Stour Beekeepers Association to set up a colony of honey bees in May.
“More than anything, the grant caused us as a congregation to talk openly about our responsibility for the care of God’s creation, and the ripples of that conversation have been significant, delightful and will only increase as new projects follow through the Bourton Community Gardens Project.”
All parishes can apply for a grant of £250 to deliver new environmental projects. Find out how your parish can apply here.