Havens on earth
Andrea Gilpin highlights the diversity of wildlife in our churchyards
A CHURCHYARD MAY BE the most ancient enclosed land in a parish, town or city, making them really special for wildlife as well as people. The grassland within a churchyard will have been relatively undisturbed, growing and re-seeding naturally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It will have been both scythed for hay and grazed by animals during this time, but not treated with chemical fertilisers and pesticides or ploughed and dug over. A benefit of this unchanging management is a rich diversity of grasses, flowers, fungi and animals.
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