The Church Of The Holy Rood -- Wool, Dorset, U.K.
Dorset Wildlife Trust's 2016 Report of their visit to Wool Churchyard
We noted that all grass in the lower, older part of the churchyard had been cut short to accommodate the summer fete. This emphasized how exceptionally large the expanse of grass is overall and the desirability of introducing a measure of continuing variety and interest in the grass from the cutting regime, including leaving areas of longer grass from time to time, especially where a richness of flora was identified.
A mown axial path down the centre, i.e. north to south, might also be considered; this would cross, and complement, the existing grass path east/west to the war memorial.
We saw an impressive stand of greater celandine along the margins of the cremations area :
In the upper area, the new hedge is doing well, no doubt aided by the wet spring and summer. We commend the plan for some of the young trees to be allowed to mature as standards to add interest to what is a very long boundary.
The adjacent expanse of grass in this new area could benefit from the scattering of yellow rattle seed to curtail the lushness and so improve the variety of grasses - and make it more likely that the impressive flora from the adjoining agricultural field (photo below) including corn marigold could migrate successfully. It would be good if some seed/ hay from that field could be scattered as well.
Overall we noted the areas of floral interest tagged to be saved from cutting: we suggest each might be increased in size to at least 0.5m. We were glad to hear of an increasing interest in wild flowers and commend the photographic lists of species by month. We commend also the siting of bird boxes and the plentiful provision of seating.
Dorset Wildlife Trust's 2015 Report of their visit to Wool Churchyard
8th June 2015
DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST LIVING CHURCHYARD PROJECT 2015
Holy Rood, Wool & E Stoke
Date of visit 8th June 2015
Wool has a large churchyard on ground that slopes down to the north. The upper levels include the recent extension into former agricultural land and a new hedge has been planted along the new south boundary.
The more diverse turf is in the oldest (lower) part of the churchyard and this area has more potential to have flowers rather than dominant grass. Most of the grass is uniformly mown so there would be scope to add variety by leaving a few random patches uncut, just for a few weeks, to allow clumps of flowers to show. These can then soon revert to normal mowing. There are good hedges and some bird boxes, dead wood heaps, a seat and stands with nettles.
There are very good information sheets1 with illustrations and guidance about the seasonal flowers that can be seen.
Try leaving a few patches uncut, just for a few weeks at a time, to enhance floral diversity. Try to remove grass cuttings at least on a localised basis, again to reduce grass vigour and consider scattering yellow rattle seed.
Try adding an open-front bird box or two for species like robin or even perhaps spotted flycatcher.
Cut more frequently the Calvary Mound, to keep the coarse grass under tighter control.
Moore Activity Daycare build nest boxes for Holy Rood churchyard
In the Autumn of 2014, enthusiastic volunteers from the local Moore Activity Daycare group constructed some wooden nest boxes for use in Holy Rood churchyard. The group went on to construct further nest boxes for their own allotment plot.
We fixed the three boxes they made for us in the tall trees at the top of the churchyard. Later, they made us a hedgehog box which we sited alongside one of the churchyard hedgerows. At least two of the three nest boxes were used by families of Great Tits in the Spring of 2015.
Here are some of the Moore Activity group having fun and getting stuck in during one of their work sessions in East Burton Village Hall. Percy the peacock awaits anxiously in the foreground!
Everyone involved in the project posed for a photo after finishing two of the boxes. On the far left and far right are Tony and Glen from Holy Rood. In between, from left to right, are Tracy, Bev, Dan, Chervon, Tracey and Claire.
Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area
The Dorset Wildlife Trust summer magazine mentioned that: "Wool's new graveyard area is being designed not only as a beautiful and tranquil space, but one that welcomes wildlife too. A Bioblitz took place in June 2013."
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