Flora and Fauna


Churchyards, as places of religious and cultural significance, have long been considered as sanctuaries for both the living and the dead. But beyond their spiritual and historical value, these quiet green spaces also provide important habitats for a variety of wildlife, including birds, plants, mosses and lichen, mammals, and insects.

Such biodiversity not only enriches the natural heritage of a community but also plays a crucial role in maintaining local ecosystems and supporting pollination, seed dispersal, and other ecological processes. If you have a range of lichen growing healthily on old walls and gravestones for example, you know that the local air quality is good. Lichen do not thrive in polluted towns and cities. Recognising the importance of wildlife in churchyards is not only a matter of conservation but also an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of life that surrounds us.

The varied habitat of a churchyard, undisturbed by agriculture or development, can support a wide variety of wildlife due to the diverse range of habitats found in a reasonably compact area. But it’s not just about seeing what’s there now. Churchyards provide a further opportunity for community involvement, especially for children and school projects by planting wildflowers for bees or putting up nest boxes and monitoring what’s using them. 

This section of the Friend’s website peeks under bushes, looks in grassy corners and along tree tops, to bring you a glimpse of what you may see if you visit St John’s and spend a few minutes wandering or sitting in the churchyard. Something that was perfectly captured by Thomas Gray in 1751 when he sat in the churchyard of St Giles’s at Stoke Poges and wrote the atmospheric poem, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.


Related websites

© Friends of Corby Glen Church 2024