This year’s Love your Burial Ground Week and Churches Count on Nature 2023 witnessed the successful organisation of over 400 activities and events throughout the UK. These events encompassed a wide range of activities, such as ‘nature counts’ in churchyards and memorial recording in urban cemeteries.
Numerous churches across Lichfield Diocese enjoyed participating in the week, registering various events and activities. Oxon Parish Church organised a nature and prayer trail in the churchyard, incorporating reflective words and verses. St Michael’s Church in Ford hosted a wildflower walk in collaboration with a local botanist. St James’s Church in Lower Penkdridge conducted a nature count. St Michaels and All Angels Church in Pelsall invited local schoolchildren to record the wildlife. Additionally, Lichfield Cathedral ran wildlife recording activities in the Cathedral grounds with Lichfield Cathedral School and Cathedral volunteers. For a map of all the events that took place across the diocese and the UK visit here.
The wildlife records submitted by participants will now undergo a national verification process to ensure their accuracy. Verification is carried out by expert volunteers specialising in specific different species groups. So ladybirds will be verified by one volunteer while wildflowers another. Different verifiers are assigned to different geographical areas. Due to a shortage of these knowledgeable volunteers across the UK, there may be backlog. Please don’t worry if your records do not appear on the national map for a while. Rest assured your records are safe and hold significant value! If you uploaded them via the Beautiful Burial Ground Project in iNaturalist – you can already view them on that database. Consider continuing to add records throughout the year, as the plant and animal species observed in November will be differ from those in June!
If you are interested in participating next year, please note that Love your Burial Ground week will be held from Saturday 8 June to Sunday 16 June 2024.