Fifteen children and some of the Eco club leaders from the Lydiard Millicent CofE VC Primary School ECO club helped church members sow part of Lydiard Millicent Churchyard with wild yellow rattle seeds (and had a great time as well).
Members of All Saints Church, Lydiard Millicent , as part of “Spring Alive” have decided to modify the way they look after, mainly hidden, parts of the churchyard. This is to encourage wild flowers, butterflies, birds and other wildlife as part of the Wiltshire Wildlife trust “Living Churchyard” initiative. They asked the local school for help and Carol Dougill, the headteacher strongly supported the closer ties. The school ECO club, run by teaching assistants Serena Thompson and Jacqui Ambrose welcomed the chance to help.
The first stage was co-ordinating the results from RSPB bird surveys. On the school grounds there were a total of 177 birds in an hour including a Kestral and a Green Woodpecker. The haul in the Churchyard was more modest 15 birds in an hour, including a Gray Wagtail and a Long Tailed Tit.
The next stage was sowing the areas to be dedicated as Summer and Spring Meadows with Yellow Rattle Seeds. Yellow Rattle is a mild parasite on grass. It weakens the grass and allows wild flowers more room to flourish. The seeds were donated by Mark Clayborough a volunteer advisor with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Living Churchyards project who helped set everything in motion.
The school ECO club met church members and the minister Tudor Roberts in the churchyard after school and scattered the seeds (after the ground had first been scarified to give space for the seeds to germinate). Considerable fun was had as well as a job well done.
The school and church look forward to many future steps in the project and hope that everyone will watch the results of the project with interest.
Serena Thompson and Jacqui Ambrose, who run the Eco club at Lydiard Millicent school, said “the Eco club are very excited to be given this opportunity to be involved and observe the churchyard develop”.