Top tips for creating a thriving area of biodiversity on your church's land

First published on: 14th July 2023

Botanist Dr Hilary Ash and ecologist Harriet Carty, Director of Caring for God’s Acre, will share tips on how to create a thriving area of biodiversity on your church land, at our next Net Zero Carbon 2030 workshop run by Faiths4Change.

There will be a chance to ask questions specific to your church situation - no matter what the size - at the Land Management workshop, from 6.15pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday July 19.

Sign up: Land Management (Eco Church) Tickets, Wed 19 Jul 2023 at 18:15 | Eventbrite

Wildlife champion and retired botanical consultant Dr Hilary Ash is green champion for Bronze Eco Church St David's URC in Eastham. She has advised local churches and community groups on managing their grounds in wildlife-friendly ways. She will share expertise including how to:

  • Create a species list of what flora and fauna naturally lives on your land – best done after a ‘no mow’ period between May and September
  • Encourage invertebrates such as bees, butterflies and other insects – establish a succession of flowering plants and trees producing nectar and pollen, from spring to autumn
  • Provide shelter – use branches and logs as bug houses, and involve your community in making bird boxes and homes for other wildlife that will be attracted by the smaller animals
  • Involve your church members and local community – build a team to share the workload, use posters, social media and engagement days to let people know why the landscape is changing
  • Compost well – to feed nutrients back into the land, and grow vegetables in raised bed if your site and team capacity allows
  • Take expert advice when it comes to tree safety, and managing invasive species – such as ivy, brambles or non-native species such as rhodedendrum & ground elder

Awarded Cheshire Woman of the Year in 2017 for her environmental work, Dr Hilary is Honorary Conservation Officer for Wirral Wildlife (part of Cheshire Wildlife Trust), holds a Queens Award for Voluntary Service, and a Green Flag Volunteer award for her work running New Ferry Butterfly Park.

Also sharing their expertise at the workshop will be Harriet Carty, director of conservation charity Caring for God’s Acre. The charity runs the Beautiful Burial Ground project, dedicated to burial grounds of all types and sizes from small rural churchyards to large urban cemeteries.

An ecologist by training, Harriet has worked on nature reserves, with farmers, landowners, and many community projects.

She will give an overview as to why churchyards are good for people and wildlife.

She will also share 5 top tips for managing for wildlife and 5 for ensuring the site feels welcoming and people are engaged in this journey of change. She will also link this management into carbon storage, particularly grassland management and soil carbon.

There will also be a chance to hear from other churches about their progress, and learn about creating a land management plan towards Eco church awards.

This session is offered free to churches as part of the Diocese of Liverpool's Net-Zero Carbon 2030 programme. Other faith groups are also welcome to sign up and come along.

Sign up: Land Management (Eco Church) Tickets, Wed 19 Jul 2023 at 18:15 | Eventbrite

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