Monday, 1 August 2016

Parish Life - August 2016

We were very lucky to have a newcomer to the working party in July. A young man had seen the advert for the Living Churchyard session at St. Giles in the Wiltshire Wildlife magazine. He was a welcome addition to the team, working very hard and enjoyed a guided tour of the area around the church from Ivan, who explained the rationale behind the different planting areas and pointed out some of the more exotic species that we have growing. One plant that I had not seen before was the Crow Garlic, a member of the Allium family, growing by one of the gravestones.

When we stopped for our usual break, our new arrival told us about his visit to Africa with a charity that tracks desert elephants and works with communities there. He had helped to build a wall around a village water source to protect it from damage by the elephants and he had seen calves and Bull elephants and all sizes in between. He was planning to return to Namibia this September and carry on with his work and I found myself envying his experiences with such mighty animals.

Then I thought about the work that we do in our churchyard and realised that, on a much smaller scale, it is equally important to provide habitats for our wildlife. True, it may not be as exciting as seeing a huge elephant tramping through the bush, but having areas where Field mice and Common shrews can roam, and seeing Small Heath and Common Blue butterflies in action is almost as good!

Who knows what we might discover next? If you would like to be part of our practical session in maintaining the churchyard as a haven for wildlife, please join us on Saturday 13th August, 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon. We are happy to show newcomers how we carry out our management programme. Tools and gloves, and refreshments will be available. Please come and enjoy a session looking after your local environment!