Church saves all creatures, great and small

Holy Trinity Church in Hurdsfield has worked with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to turn part of its grounds into a haven for wildlife.

The church has taken steps to convert their lawns into a wildflower meadow. The work will help all manner of plants and animals to find solace in the grounds of the church, with everything from bumblebees and butterflies, to voles and starlings expected to thrive in the new meadow.

Rev. James, the vicar, said: “Caring for the whole of God’s creation is really important. We hope that as our new wildflower meadow springs up the whole community will be able to come and enjoy the community space it will create and the wildlife it will bring. We are really pleased to be able to work in partnership with Cheshire Wildlife Trust and look forward to seeing the meadow flourish in the months to come.”

Adam Linnet, Wild Communities Officer for Cheshire Wildlife Trust, added “It is brilliant to see a community putting nature truly at its heart. For too long have we seen as nature as something that is conserved out in the countryside, so it is great to see conservation taking place in the middle of the town. The seeds we have used were harvested locally, ensuring we have only sown what would have once grown here naturally. Most of the species are perennials, meaning they will now come back year on year without needing to be resown.

The work is part of the Trust’s ambitious plans to recreate over 100Ha of species-rich grassland in the next ten years. This involves creating bare earth and spreading local, native wildflower seeds and helping landowners to manage the resulting meadow. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, so creating more space for wildlife is absolutely vital.

Adam Linnet finished by saying “We have seen 99% of wildflower meadows destroyed across Cheshire in the past 60 years. This means that simply conserving what we have left is no longer enough, we need to start restoring the places we have lost. So it is great to see local communities taking the lead on restoring species-rich grassland where possible, helping to join the remaining scattered dots and form the basis for a Nature Recovery Network. Only through working together and by all taking action for wildlife can we truly put nature into recovery.”

The meadows will now burst into life in the spring, with them hitting their peak in June and July. They will develop over time, with the number of flowers growing year to year and with the possibility that new species will move into the meadows in future years. As well as having a wide variety of flowering species, they will host species such as meadow brown butterflies, red-tailed bumblebees and grasshoppers. Through creating more wildlife-rich spaces it is hoped that the declines our wildlife have faced for so long can start to be reversed.

If anyone is interested in supporting the Trust’s work or wants to create a wildflower meadow on their land, in their school or in the grounds of their workplace, can get in touch with the Trust via info@cheshirewt.org.uk