Churchyard at St Uny, Lelant, Cornwall

St Uny, LelantRobert Moor Coordinator: Living Churchyard Project for Truro Diocese and Cornwall Wildlife Trust writes… A warming sun, a lazy bee, the scent of hay; the grass-hoppers chirp their call, the song-thrush sings, the swallowsswoop, the lichened tombs scribe shadows across the path; peace, lovingmemories and sanctuary.

Cornwall has many fascinating churchyards surrounding its historic churches and the range of different habitats that they encompass across the county from wood and wetland, moor and coast, all contribute to a vast wealth of diverse species.

Nationally, Living Churchyards was set up to protect and promote flora and fauna in burial areas by enhancing wildlife habitat. Through advice on practical conservation management and the promotion of community based action for the environment, projects can be supported and assisted by the Wildlife Trust. The once abundant, flower-rich grasslands of our whole country have become increasing rare, due to modern farming practices and the introduction of fertilisers and herbicides.

Therefore, the local churchyard survives as an important refuge for so many species, that were once so commonly found in the surrounding area. This makes the churchyard so valued, and its care and guardianship should be an environmental example for all the community to follow.

The old churchyard at St Uny, Lelant is home to a rare bee species, which is totally dependent for its life-cycle on the Field Scabious plant that grows in the area. So it is vitally important to ensure that these plants flourish. It is well known that bumble-bee species are struggling, and these are examples where the churchyard, through careful sympathetic management can provide a protective environment.

For more information about the Living Churchyard Project contact Robert Moor on (01872) 272929.