Blog by the Revd Cate Williams, Environmental Engagement Officer for the Diocese of Gloucester
A few things have crossed my path over the last few weeks that share the theme of creating habitats for wildlife, whether in gardens, community green spaces or churchyards: an idea for a community event, a conference and a focus on gardening.
Churches Count on Nature
This can be done at any time but has a focus during 4-12 June. It is organised as a partnership between Eco Church / Arocha and Caring for God’s Acre (CfGA), the charity that specialises in managing churchyards and other burial grounds for nature.
Many churches in our Diocese participated in this for the first time last year, really enjoying the experience and finding it a great way to engage positively with the wider community. Our churchyards are often very special environments, having been relatively undisturbed for centuries. If we are letting some areas grow longer as part of our commitment to care for creation, Churches Count on Nature is a great way to invite others to join us to explore what is growing and finding a home in our space.
For those participating in Eco Church, this fits well under both the community and global, and land headings.
This video explores nature in churchyards in our Diocese.
Also from CfGA, this conference is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about how to manage a churchyard for nature. It is planned as an inspiring day to discover how to transform burial grounds into havens for people, wildlife and heritage
Leave the garden clean up until later
Finally, a reminder from wildlife charities not to get too ahead of ourselves in a springtime tidy of the garden. Many pollinators overwinter in standing dead stems. If we wait until the temperature is consistently above 10 degrees, this will be appreciated by bees, butterflies and other parts of our garden’s ecology.
Whether our focus is our own gardens, community spaces or churchyards, all this works together to protect the world God has made and enable nature to thrive.