God's Acre - Walesby All Saints Churchyard

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26th June 2017

The latest update regarding Walesby God's Acre is now attached as a pdf file at the bottom of this page.

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The above photo shows seating below the tower with views to the west across the wild flower meadow towards the distant Trent valley and Lincoln Cathedral.

The Friends of the Old Church Walesby and Walesby’s Parochial Church Council cooperate with a team of around 12 volunteers to develop the ancient churchyard as a haven for wildlife

Guidelines published by the charity ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ are used to create a wildflower meadow meeting the needs of butterflies & insects, birds & small mammals, visitors and the local community.

The ‘God’s Acre’ approach was adopted in autumn 2014.  Previously, the focus was to provide a comfortable area for visitors by frequent mowing and installing new bench seats, noticeboard and gates.  New hedging was also planted along boundaries to the east and west.

Timing of grass cutting has been the main change required.  Having identified the wildflowers present, it was possible to devise a management plan which differentiated between spring and summer flowering.  This ensured the emerging plants were not damaged prior to flowering; then allowed time for seed to set and ripen before cutting.  Hopefully, we’ll see increasing populations of snowdrops, violets, celandine, ground ivy and bluebells in the spring flowering area.  In the summer flowering sections, we’ll be looking for more knapweed, lady’s bedstraw and star of Bethlehem.

Competition from invasive plant species has to be controlled by repeat cutting of vigorous grasses, hogweed, nettles and docks. 

However, nettles and thistles are allowed to grow near the perimeter as they support butterflies, bees, other insects and small mammals.  Raking and removal of grass following mowing and strimming help to reduce soil fertility and encourage meadow species. 

Newly planted hedging has been ‘weeded’ and pruned to encourage healthy growth.

Because work in the churchyard is triggered for each area according to the growth stage of plants and the time of year, the workload requires only 2 - 3 people for 1 - 2 hours at any one time.   The convenor sends emails to the list of volunteers to keep them informed of jobs to be done.  Sometimes, individuals with a particular skill or preference will be contacted to check their availability.

If you would like to be one of the volunteers or show your interest in ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ in Walesby’s old churchyard, please talk to David Thurman (convenor) or via this website by emailing joe@walesbyvillage.com  .

The following photos show 6 of the volunteers working on the plot.

Click on the attachment below to see our annual report for 2016.

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