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Nature Friendly Award for Churchyard

posted 14 Nov 2015, 07:50 by John Goldring

There was a nice surprise for us at the Lichfield Diocesan Churchyard Awards 2015 held today at Blymhill in Staffordshire. In addition to the 'Highly Commended' award we were expecting we were delighted to receive a 'Nature Friendly' award. The judges especially commented on our large wildflower meadow with mown grass paths for easy access. They also mentioned the wide variety of plants and the range of habitats we have provided for wildlife including bird and bat boxes and a a mini beast hotel.

The judges said our churchyard, at 7 acres, is so large, it took them 2 hours to go around! They marked us 8 out of 10 for the overall impression of the churchyard and were pleased with the general standard of maintenance. Inevitably there is a need for improvement in some areas if we are to do better in future awards. At times graves, and memorials for cremated remains, can be untidy with dead flowers needing removal. The judges also suggested we could spruce up the noticeboards and make our churchyard entrances more welcoming.

The Churchyard Award is open to all churches in the diocese which have some grounds, even if there is no a churchyard, as there is also a special award for church gardens. This year around 50 churches entered , that's 10% of those in the diocese, nearly all are in rural areas so we were the exception.

So once again a big thank you to all the churchyard team who work hard to keep the churchyard at its best – and as always if anyone would like to lend a hand that would be very welcome. Just email us at or contact us via the church office.