To quote from “Caring for God’s Acre”:
‘Appealing to many who are interested in local history and the natural world, burial grounds encapsulate the history of communities whilst offering refuge for our native wildlife.
For many people burial grounds are the only locally accessible green space. However, their heritage value, and even their continuing presence, cannot be taken for granted. They are under threat from development, closure, under management and mismanagement.’
Plan of the churchyard
The plan shows our overall approach to the churchyard bio-diversity plan. The area shaded green will be devoted to wildflowers and that is where work will start.
What is not shown on the plan are aspects such as woodpiles, fruit trees, bird and bat boxes, bug and hedgehog houses and a ‘Mason Bee Hotel’. We hope that Stoke Fleming School will get involved in such activities.
What are our plans?
The area shaded green on the plan, is ideal for natural flowers and plants to help pollination. Mowing would be limited to to twice a year. This area will have information boards.
Pathways will be mown around graves and to demonstrate that this area of the churchyard is not neglected or ‘abandoned’.
The pathway that leads from just inside the main church gate to the east end of the church is in disrepair and in need of renovation. The surface is poor and the path is not wide enough for wheelchairs nor even enough for those who may have walking difficulties.
Shrubs & Brambles
The shrubs to the left of the side path have been neglected and need to be cut back and managed.
The edge of the prospective wildflower area is overgrown with brambles which are damaging the boundary wall and encroaching on the graveyard. These need to be removed
A haven for wildlife
The churchyard is a haven for wildlife and this can be enhanced and encouraged. For example: bees, insects, birds, hedgehogs and many others. Providing habitats such as log-piles, bat and bird boxes, hedgehog houses and so on can enhance this area.
A place for contemplation
There is currently only one bench in the churchyard. We suggest a number of benches around the pathways to enable visitors to rest, enjoy the space and contemplate.
Involving Stoke Fleming Primary School in projects such as a bug hotel, a hedgehog house along with bird and bat boxes.
Local history can be explored via the people buried in the Churchyard.