St Peter & St Paul’s Churchyard Blossoms

St Peter & St Paul’s Shelford have created a flourishing churchyard as they do their part to care for creation.

In 2019, the PCC was presented with a report from a firm of arboriculturists about the condition of the trees in the churchyard which implied the need for sums of money which they didn’t have. But then lockdown struck, and nothing happened. 

Churchwarden David Hancock began to co-ordinate the work of what is now known as the ’Churchyard Nature Group’ in March 2021, who meet fortnightly on Saturday afternoons. About 15 people have contributed over the 18 months, with roughly 8 or 9 showing up each time. The volunteers are both churchgoers and non-churchgoers. 

Volunteers have taken on tasks such as removing the lower branches of the avenue of lime trees on the northern border – thus revealing the lovely view from the churchyard over the Trent valley. The Langer Wildflower Farm provided a kilo of seed for the borders.

David added, “I must say, I think we have all been pleasantly surprised how well things have flourished and it is a joy to see the number of people who are appreciating the flowers. It is our aim to encourage people to visit the churchyard. It is intrinsically beautiful, standing on higher ground overlooking the rural tranquillity of the Trent valley.

It also has historic associations with the Civil War – there is a ‘gun emplacement’ national monument in the churchyard, and the church tower shows evidence of the siege, and an associated massacre. 

We encourage visitors, and many walkers pass by as it is on the route of the ‘Trent Valley Way’. Our work to tend the trees, shrubs, and flowers and to increase the biodiversity of this precious piece of nature is in tune with the wishes of many people.”

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