There are now three bird boxes installed in the churchyard. The first "wild area" has received an initial cut and rake, the second to the rear of the church will be cut by scythe in October.
We are also looking into the possibility of installing a waterless composting toilet for the church.
Thanks to Lisa and Ian Soper for donating the bird boxes which were fixed to churchyard trees at the Harvest Festival.
We are looking for someone to lead in how we make the church and churchyard more environmentally friendly. We have already made a start but a volunteer to manage this would be the best way forward for the church and the village. St Edmund & St George Church is registered under Eco Church which is the award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that they can manage their church to help conserve the natural environment. Areas to be covered could include worship and teaching; buildings; land; lifestyle and community; and global issues. Volunteers do not have to be an active worshipper in the church - applications from anyone will be considered.
British Native Flowers to watch out for in the Churchyard in July and August (thanks Pauline):
Buttercup - Common Red Poppy - Shepherds Purse - Red Clover - Bramble - Goose Grass - Daisy - Ox-eye Daisy - common Yarrow - Long rooted cats-ear - Field Bindweed - Self-heal - Red Dead-nettle - Plantain.
A representative of “Wild Oxfordshire” visited the churchyard in March to advise us on how best to proceed with turning parts of it into “wild” areas.
In the first year the grass in the designated areas will only be cut and then raked off at the end of August. This will encourage native flora and fauna. The PCC will be maintaining a record of flowers, plants, insects, reptiles and animals using the churchyard – so please let us know if you spot anything. The representative of “Wild Oxfordshire” pointed out yellow meadow ants and solitary bees during her visit.
There are other maintenance tasks, so if you would like to be involved in any way please let us know.
Thank you to Peter Allen for continuing to mow the other areas of the churchyard, Pauline O’Gorman for producing a comprehensive list of wildflowers and Flora for the signs.
Our aim is to turn part of the churchyard into a natural, flowery space, to encourage wildlife and make it more attractive and interesting for visitors. Our long-term vision is to preserve the churchyard as a special, sacred place, remembering that if we turn it entirely over to nature we forget the work of past generations who cared for it and we could impede access to graves and for on-going burials.
It would be good to involve local families/children making bug hotels, etc. If you would like to be involved in any way (practical, guidance or funding) please let us know.