Where would you look for creeping Jenny? Do you know where to find Aaron’s beard? Would you like some garlic mustard? Thanks to a recent on-site survey, these plants can now all be found in St Peter’s churchyard, Leckhampton.
Richard Kerr-Wilson, chair of the Eco Team at St Peter’s, says, “We are very grateful to our resident botanist, Ben Gilchrist, who has now completed and documented his second survey of all the plants surrounding the church. This has been helped by our new land management policy of less mowing, and he has found an increase of over 20 new species since last year. The results can be found on the St Peter’s website along with all our Eco Team updates and advice.”
There are many different types of flowers and grasses growing at St Peter’s. A section of the churchyard was roped off to promote a natural, wild habitat over the summer months as part of Love Your Burial Ground Week, to encourage insects, bees and other pollinators. The church grounds are home to 17 different types of tree and over 100 different types of flower and fern.
“Ben’s survey is part of our overall plan of being good stewards of God’s creation, preserving biodiversity and preventing environmental destruction. Taking part in A Rocha’s Eco Church awards, gaining Silver last year, has been thanks to everyone’s hard work and efforts.”
A Rocha’s vision is to restore the natural world; the Eco Church programme began in 2016 and is just one of their projects. It is open to churches of all denominations. To achieve an award, churches need to sign up and complete a straightforward online survey, which can be found at ecochurch.arocha.org.uk. Many churches are finding they qualify for a Bronze Award from the actions they have already taken.
Richard says, “We would now like to go further and aim for our Gold Award, although this is considerably more difficult than achieving Silver. On average, it takes two and a half years to go from Silver to Gold. To reach Gold, we need to provide supporting evidence for our answers to the survey, including our impact on the local community, as well as our plans for the future. Once we have submitted our survey and dossier of supporting evidence, we will receive a visit by an A Rocha team to review and confirm our submission before being considered for a Gold Award. It’s a goal we hope to achieve together, with all the worshipping community.”
Petra Crofton from A Rocha is visiting St Peter’s Church on 5 October at 7.30pm to talk about ‘Climate Change for All’. Everyone is welcome.
For more information about signing up to Eco Church, visit: Eco Church in an hour