Fancy making a difference for the planet by doing less this May? Plantlife is encouraging churches and households to take part in No Mow May.
Lock up your lawnmower on 1 May 1 and let the wildflowers in your lawn bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators.
Caring for the environment in their churchyard was part of St James’ Dursley’s journey towards their recent Bronze Eco Church Award.
Gillian Mather explained how it worked for them, “Last year, the group who mow our churchyard came on board with our Eco Church project, through ‘No Mow May’. This subsequently evolved into a new mowing regimen to encourage the churchyard wildlife.
“We held a Churches Count on Nature event in St James’s churchyard on a lovely, sunny day in June. People from the local community were issued with a nature recording sheet and invited to follow a one-way route around the churchyard, spotting nature on the way. There was also an ‘eye-spy’ sheet for children.
“The charity God’s Green Acre supplied advice on their brilliant website as well as nature identification books. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust had a stand and offered their expert advice about the creatures being identified. We also held similar events during that week, for the local Guides and Brownies.
“Holding these events helped publicise the aims of the Eco Group and make new links with others.”
Gill explained that getting the Bronze Eco Church Award was much simpler than they expected. “Initially, the award scheme questionnaire appeared quite long and daunting. We soon realised that our church had already achieved many aspects of it. It was a case of gradually going through each point and identifying what was already in place, and what areas needed further action.”
The church is now working towards its Silver Eco Church Award, and is making a large bug hotel using money from a diocesan Wildlife #GrantsforGardens fund. They have also started installing bird nesting boxes and a hedgehog house. A nature expert is coming to speak to the group about installing swift nesting boxes in the church tower.
Gill continues, “We have another Count on Nature Event planned for June and are hoping to build on the success of last year’s event.”
Click here to pledge just an hour a week to care for the environment as a church.