Northamptonshire Churchyard Conservation Scheme

If you go down to the churchyard today …

Click dropdown on right to find out what's happening

Brenda Lofthouse 6 February 2020

Things are afoot. Following on from the successful spring bulb planting programme carried out over the last few years, a new venture is now being embarked on. This is a conservation programme designed to encourage wildlife to flourish and wildflowers to grow. The Friends of St Mary’s have joined forces with St Mary’s Eco Team and the Town Council to develop specific habitats for wildlife. A survey was carried out in the land that lies to the north of the path through the churchyard. It was found that there were over 46 species of plants in that area alone, and some of them are associated with ancient meadow lands. As the churchyard soil will not have been subject to any farming practices in the recent centuries, it is very likely that we have a small piece of an ancient meadow on our doorstep.

It is very important that the sanctity of the churchyard is preserved as a place of beauty, reflection and peacefulness. None of the eco developments will be visible from the main entrance to the church. This will remain exactly as it looks now. What we will be doing is working with nature by letting some of the indigenous plants grow to the proper height, planting wildflowers, and developing habitats for butterflies, birds, and mammals. The greater part of this work will take place within the northern most part of the churchyard.

Our overall objective is for the work undertaken to be recognised by the Northamptonshire Churchyard Conservation Scheme run by our local Wildlife Trust. If our initial efforts are assessed as successful, we will gain the Bronze Award. It will take some years to get the Gold Award, but that is our ambition.