The everyday wildlife of burial grounds means much to those who visit and cherish them but many burial grounds are so rich in wildlife that they should be designated and specially protected. Few have the legal protection of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or, in the case of local authority owned cemeteries, Local Nature Reserve. This makes it even more important that they are cared for and protected by the people looking after them.
Many have a non-statutory designation as a recognition of their importance. These non-statutory designations have a variety of names in different regions including Local Wildlife Site, County Wildlife Site, Site of Importance for Nature Conservation or Site of Nature Conservation Importance (Local Wildlife Site is the most common name). Their selection is based on records of the most important, distinctive and threatened species and habitats within a national, regional and local context. This makes them some of our most valuable wildlife areas.
For example, many burial grounds which are designated as Local Wildlife Sites contain species-rich meadow, rich in wildflowers, native grasses and grassland fungi managed by only occasional mowing plus raking. When this is the case, many animals may be present too, insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. This type of grassland was once widespread and has been almost entirely lost from the UK with approximately 3% remaining, so burial grounds with species-rich meadow managed in this way are extremely important for wildlife.
These designations should be considered when planning management or change.
If you think that this or any other burial ground should be designated please contact Caring for God’s Acre (email@example.com) to discuss. Many eligible sites have not yet received a designation and can be surveyed and then submitted for consideration.
There are no SSSIs within the curtilage of this Church.
There are no Local nature reserves within the curtilage of this Church.
There are no Local Wildlife sites within the curtilage of this Church.