Wildlife conservation at St Martins Churchyard Shotesham
Coordinator for Conservation Group: Bob Harris
Overview: Primarily a site for people to enjoy, but with some important benefits for wildlife. The tower is used by Jackdaws for nesting and the value of the churchyard for wildlife can be improved by managing some of it for wildflowers (and therefore for Butterflies, bees and other insects) whilst keeping the rest of the site mown for public enjoyment of the site including picnicking and events. The site is managed by the PCC in close cooperation with the Conservation Group.
South side of the churchyard. Over the last few years a band about 3 metres wide has been kept cut adjacent to the church wall, to provide a recreation/wandering/picnic area for the public. We have been working on the rest of the grass on this side with the aim of creating a good wildflower meadow. This is proving difficult because of the strength of the rank grass in the area, although on close inspection there are quite a few varieties of wildflower beginning to appear. Attempts to introduce yellow rattle have so far not worked. In 2017 we will try to collect a lot of rattle seed from Stubbs Green and introduce it to this area straight after the summer cut (done on 18 August). We will keep an eye on progress in 2018 and decide on next steps then. Paths through and around the perimeter of the meadow will be continue to be maintained by the PCC.
The other 3 sides. These areas are mown so that they are available for quiet recreation and to maintain the best appearance for the church when viewed from the road on this side.
The steep banks around the churchyard have been planted with wild primroses and are best cut just once a year in summer.