Hundreds of Churchyards and Burial grounds to benefit from new National Project

Conservation charity, Caring for God’s Acre (CfGA), has received confirmation of a grant of £405,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

It was announced today that CfGA’s national project has received a grant to operate across England and Wales for the next four years to support the conservation of churchyard and burial grounds, including cemeteries, of all faiths and denominations. 

The new project will enable CfGA, to work with partner organisations in 15 regions to deliver workshops and training in many subjects including surveying, walling and scything, in order to support people who are interested in the care of their local churchyard or burial ground. A dedicated telephone helpline and special management information packs will be available, and a teacher’s pack is being produced to help local schools wishing to make educational visits to these enhanced, safe sites.  

Churchyards and burial sites are a significant part of our natural, built and cultural history. Likely to be the oldest enclosed area of land in many parishes, they contain historic stonework and relatively undisturbed, wildlife habitats of great age. Ancient yew trees, the oldest living things in Britain, can be found growing here, together with beautiful remnant meadowland, full of wild flowers and grasses - a declining wildlife habitat, which is in need of special attention. More recent burial sites can be enhanced for visitors through planting schemes, which attract birds, bees and butterflies. The increasing support for churchyard and burial conservation is also shown by Caring for God’s Acre’s other recent success; that of HRH The Prince of Wales becoming President of the charity. 

The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant will now enable CfGA to support many more people with the conservation of these important sites. Sue Cooper, from the charity explains “Caring for God’s Acre, is the only charity solely dedicated to the conservation of churchyards and burial grounds and over the past twelve years we have supported local community groups, local authorities, Friends of cemeteries groups and many others”. Sue also said “The interest in our work and the demand for help resulted in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which we are delighted to say has been successful”.

 

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