Bob Brandt has supplied some details on the first year of the Conservation Areas in the Churchyard. This supplements the piece for the August and September issue of Local Lynx.
Large conservation areas have been identified within the churchyard and are described on the panel erected in the south aisle (the cut areas are shown in pink on the plan). In those areas, which may be changed from time to time in the light of experience, the naturally-occurring plants will be allowed to grow without any attention during the earlier part of the year. Already, this year a remarkable display of natural plants was to be seen in the spring. At the end of the ‘growing season’ – i.e. about the end of July – the conservation areas will be completely cleared by The Community Payback Churchyard Team, on the advice of Dr Bob Leaney – the wildflower specialist who was consulted about the creation of the scheme.
Lady's Bedstraw and Knapweed next to the path.
The first cut has been delayed this year and this has allowed dead foliage to overhang the walls of the churchyard.
The idea for the scheme arose out two concerns: 1) that it was time to reduce the burden of keeping the entire churchyard regularly mown and strimmed which for some years had rested on only two volunteers, and 2) that it would be desirable to join the many churches and country gardens throughout the country in which areas of naturally occurring plants are being conserved both for their own sake and to encourage pollinating insects and other wildlife.
At the moment there is a vacancy for a manager of the scheme so that responsibility rests entirely with the Rector. When the idea for the scheme was first proposed, a number of people in the village expressed their interest and support and it was hoped that a Langham Churchyard Support Group might be formed. So far, there is no sign of that happening, though I have written an article which I hope may generate some interest. It is possible that at least some of those who have expressed concern about the state of the churchyard may be willing to help form a group.
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