Church grounds for wildlife

Churchyards which are appropriately managed can provide a haven for wildlife. Many churchyards are surviving fragments of meadow unaffected by modern management regimes and serve as island refuges for local wildlife, including birds, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and slow-worms to name a few. Churchyards are also particularly noted for the wide variety of mosses and lichens which can be found on old stonework.

Here are a few ideas to make your churchyard a wildlife haven:

  • The establishment of a suitable mowing and hedge-trimming regime
  • Adding a few untidy corners, log piles, provision of artificial habitats such as nestboxes and bug hotels
  • Not using pesticides and artificial fertilisers will all benefit wildlife.
  • Managing the churchyard and recording what’s living there is something that the whole community can get involved in.


Caring for God’s Acre are a charity who promote the conservation of burial sites and support the volunteers who look after and maintain them. A wide variety of resources including an action pack covering all aspects of churchyard management, training videos and stories from different churches.

Caring for God's Acre | Weblink

The Church of England website looks at how to find out what wildlife is using your churchyard and how to encourage it.

Church of England biodiversity | Weblink

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust have produced a guide to churchyard management and a guide to lichens and plants on walls

Suffolk Widllife Trust | Weblink

The Diocese of Norwich and Norfolk Wildlife Trust have teamed up to create the Churchyard Conservation Scheme.

Norwich Diocese | Weblink

Norfolk Wildlife | Weblink




Please do email The Revd Canon Mark Haworth, the Diocesan Environment Officer for more information or to let him know if your church is registered as an Eco Church.

To receive regular updates please follow the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Environment group on Facebook.




Page last updated: Monday 7th February 2022 12:36 PM
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