Churchyard project to help spread biodiversity beyond the lychgate

A new project has been launched in the Shropshire Hills AONB which will see the fantastic biodiversity found within churchyards and cemeteries spreading back out into our towns, villages, verges, gardens and school grounds. 

Caring for God’s Acre has received funding from Defra via the Green Recovery Challenge Fund (until March 2023) to work with burial ground managers, communities and conservation partners, to increase biodiversity within burial grounds and to radiate that diversity out into the wider community.

Burial grounds contain our oldest trees, our rarest lichens and fungi, and precious wildflower meadows, which are in serious decline throughout the UK. Opening the Ark will plan, organise, manage and deliver a programme of activities and public facing events with a specific focus on nature-based volunteer involvement and participation which will go towards reversing this trend of habitat loss and species decline.

Harriet Carty, National Director with Caring for God’s Acre said “we are delighted to have been awarded a grant to carry out this really important work. Burial grounds are such a rich source of local biodiversity and we look forward to working with churches and communities in the Shropshire Hills AONB to make these spaces even more rich in terms of nature and biodiversity.”

Opening the Ark will be running focused volunteer conservation task days at burial grounds, churchyards, cemeteries and at local community spaces throughout the AONB as well as running nature discovery days, events and community training days – all focusing on nature and increasing the rich biodiversity found within the Shropshire Hills.

Caring for God’s Acre is recruiting a project officer to help deliver this exciting project, see

For more information and details of how you, your churchyard or your community can become involved, contact Mick Clifton at Caring for God’s Acre on 01588 673041 or email

Published by Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership on (modified )