Churches Count on Nature, 12 June 2021

St Mary’s Churches Count on Nature event held on 12 June 2021 was blessed with a beautiful sunny afternoon that was perfect for the various activities on offer that included participating in the Churches Count on Nature, a treasure hunt, children’s colouring-in, sitting and chatting and an opportunity to be still in nature and reflect on God’s gift.

Twelve, metre-square quadrats placed around the churchyard were used to mark the areas within which to identify plants and creatures. With the aid of reference books participants confirmed a pleasingly diverse range of flora and fauna.

The children enjoyed a treasure hunt and colouring-in outline images themed on nature.

The rest of us enjoyed dipping in to participate in the Count, chat here and there, follow the treasure hunt and enjoy being in the nature of St Mary’s churchyard.

And below are comments about the event by some of those who came along to count …

“I really enjoyed the Count on Nature Afternoon. I was astonished how many forms of life were within the one square metre that I surveyed, both animal and plant life wise. It was an excellent occasion, and thanks to all who organised it.”

“It was a real treat to just sit and observe the beautiful surroundings. To quietly look at the gravestones and remember people who have died and pray for those who mourn them. My niece and nephew enjoyed the treasure hunt (and the lego) and meeting other children. I did nothing active, which was, for me, wonderful and refreshing. Thanks to all who helped to organize such a lovely event. It is so special, in these strange times, to be able to interact with people, albeit at a safe distance.”

“The plant count was a wonderful opportunity to visit this beautiful church. I could tell that a lot of work have gone into preserving the natural beauty and it was nice to count so many varieties of bee friendly plants.The whole experience made me realise how botanically complex and diverse and important a church meadow/yard is and how important it is that there are people looking after the wildlife as well as history of such amazing landmark.”

“I enjoyed seeing all the oxeye daisies that had sprung up as is result of not strimming or mowing certain areas”

“watching the bees land on the flowers by the graves”

“it was joyful to see children with their clipboards wandering around the churchyard trying to find everything on the list. And all the colouring in dilemmas…”

“enjoyed learning the names of all the grasses” and “found the booklet provided by Churches count on nature really useful for identifying wild flowers and grasses”

“It felt good to be part of activities designed to educate all of us, and especially the youngsters, in practical ways we can help to save our planet. Something I believe in and want to pursue through every possible means.”

“I enjoyed reflecting on the beautiful yew trees, fascinated by the wonderful shape and curves of their ancient form … a totally relaxing activity!”