4 Ecology

St Paul's is now a Key Ecological Site within the Forest of Dean. Recent work in the church has revealed the presence of several types of bat including the Lesser Horseshoe Bat. The outside walls and grounds are rich in rare and unusual lichens, fungi and insects; and we have large influxes of birders each spring to see our Hawfinches and Crossbills (with rumours of the lesser (or never!) spotted woodpecker). August 2021- first slow-worms seen in churchyard! August 2022 - first lizards seen in churchyard!!

From 2019 as part of our ecological conservation of the churchyards we are now mowing to a harlequin design - some parts kept close cut, some cut 2/3 times a year and two parts reaped only once after the flowering season. This has led to a massive increase in the diversity of wild flowers in the churchyard (and so many butterflies)  including several orchids, with one Bee Orchid seen (early June through July)  in 2019, two in 2020 and eight(!) sorry, ten(!!) this year (2021). 2022 - 20, no 21, no 22! no - 27 actually. Plus of course the 'ordinary' ones (spotted and Pyramidical). In August 2022 we donated our green hay to a new conservation area at York Lodge, Parkend to 'seed' their new meadow.

The church itself has made several steps to reduce its carbon footprint - low energy LED lamps, recycled paper and a very energy-efficient CH system which draws out all the heat into the church. We have now registered  as an Eco-Church and are working towards our Bronze Award - fingers crossed! 

All our water for heating, cleaning and toilet use comes off the roof, is collected, double filtered and UV treated before use. ( Note: this is designated as grey water and is NOT suitable for drinking).


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