14 May Wildlife oasis in St John’s church grave yard
St John’s Church is in St Peter Port, not far from Salerie Corner. An urban church, it is surrounded on four sides by houses. This, however, has not deterred the church from creating a haven for mini wildlife in the graveyard.
Becky Ogier, the education officer from Societie had a look round about a month ago in order to put together some bug and plant detective sheets for youngsters (and oldsters) to identify flora and fauna.
Over 30 people had visited the graveyard to have a look around and many were surprised at the abundance of wildlife.
It was a crystal clear warm, late spring day, and Sue Germain, church warden, explained that lots of the plants had sprung to life in just the last week encouraged by the warmer weather. Chirping and buzzing was interspersed between excited shrieks of delight as the children found a variety of mini bugs and beasts to identify.
It is so important for our younger generation to grow up appreciating their local environment and if you can foster a curiosity and excitement in young people as they interact with the wildlife around them then it will stay with them for life. They are the future guardians of our planet and they will need to work out how we can live in symbiosis with all of the other creatures on our planet. We can’t survive alone, and as top predator we have to stop creating the sixth mass extinction because if we don’t we will be included on that extinction list.
The children at this event were completing one of the sections of the YUNGAGuernsey biodiversity badge.
The Pollinator Project have put in three pollinator patches in the graveyard over the past couple of years. These patches now burst into life on their own at this time of the year. There were already signs of pollinators having found the flowers as well.
The grass now gets cut once a month but that is just to keep a pathway through the grave yard. The edges are left to grow wild. There is also a little patch of leaves and twigs that is home to slow worms.
This is such a simple concept and so easy to do. Church wardens and vicars of Guernsey take note – you can easily do this too!
A simple guide to the wildflowers of the UK can be found here