The God's Acre Project continues to work with church community groups in helping develop projects.
As we know, the market towns, villages and small hamlets are the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds communities, with most of them having either a church or chapel as not only a place of worship and community space but also as a refuge from the day to day hustle and bustle.
Churchyards and cemeteries can provide a variety of habitats, supporting a wide range of species. Many older churchyards contain grassland which is the remnant of ancient meadows, supporting species lost or in decline in the surrounding countryside. The church and associated buildings itself may contain roosting or breeding sites for bats, swifts and barn owls, whilst the stone of the church, headstones and memorials often support a rich diversity of lichen, liverwort, moss and fern flora. Mature trees are often found within the site or form part of the boundary, many of which are specimen yew trees.
The God's Acre Project continues to work with church community groups in helping develop projects. This has often involved providing advice and practical help in managing churchyards for wildlife, providing notice boards to keep residents and visitors alike informed of community activities, or benches so people can have a sit down and watch the world go by. The factsheet below gives advice and contact details for managing Lincolnshire churchyards. Further advice and information is available from the Caring for God's Acre Project based in Hereford Diocese, which inspired the Lincolnshire God's Acre Project.
Other work has included the production of the ‘Ritual and Religion of the Lincolnshire Wolds' leaflet and the provision of God's Acre Activity Rucksacks for primary schools and churches. The Rucksacks include lots of exciting things to use, such as magnifying glasses and bug pots, along with the activity pack itself. This guides you round the churchyard, helping to find out lots of interesting facts about trees, minibeasts, archaeology, geology and lichens – the crusty bits on the gravestones!
The rucksacks are available to use at God's Acre churches in the Wolds and the activity pack is available to download below.
Put together by Steve Lumb of Old Bolingbroke who, together with "Friends of St Peter and St Paul's Church" group, assist with restoration of a historic churchyard these videos https://youtu.be/AEPYSusEqsM https://youtu.be/z7YEQUgDA-k shows the wildlife active in and around the churchyard at Bolingbroke. Day and night footage, taken on a trail camera. The video truly opens our eyes to what can come and go in our churchyards often unbeknown to most of us. Other church yard groups may be able to be inspired by what can be achieved by use of a simple trail camera and as a way of further interpreting these very special places. View this church's website.