The greenspaces of urban churchyards are home to a surprising diversity of lichens, wildflowers and animals. Emily Castel, Alison Fairbrass, Ishpi Blatchley and Brian Cuthbertson describe efforts to survey the flora and fauna of London churchyards, and explain why these areas provide important refuges for our urban wildlife. Old St Pancras (not to be confused
The estimated number of churchyards and chapel yards in the UK stands at more than 20,000, and the average ground coverage of each works out at about one acre (0.4 hectares). The result is approximately 8,000 hectares of green space: a substantial opportunity for nature conservation. When the Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project (LCCP) was
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been running a churchyard conservation scheme for 22 years, which probably gives it more experience in this field than most.
Whereas the congregations inside churches seem continually to dwindle, there are, as Dennis (1993) has pointed out, still 'vast congregations of wild plants and animals' inhabiting our churchyards. Many of these are elusive, evident only for a brief time of the day or night or confined to a season of the year. Lichens, on the
Churchyards are havens for a vast congregation of wild plants and animals – a part of our natural heritage every bit as historic as the church itself. There are at least 20,000 churchyards, chapel-yards and other burial grounds in England alone, ranging in size from small gardens to 5ha or more. Effectively, much of this