One of my favourite places to have a look for wildlife is in old, run-down churchyards and cemetries. They have a wonderfully peaceful feel to them. Some of them I’ve visited have been maintained, with the grass being cut regularly and the graves cleaned, and some of them are completely left to nature, and some are somewhere in between.
If you’ve got a churchyard or cemetry nearby (in use or left to nature) then I’d really recommend going to have a look around it for wildlife during the 30 Days Wild Challenge in June. Nearly every place where there are people living will have some form of churchyard, even in the cities and towns, although they might not be as picturesque as some of those in the villages. You never know what you might find. Read on to find out what I found!
Hidden away in a triangle of land tucked between Huntingdon Rd and Madingley Rd in Northwest Cambridge there is a
small burial ground – Ascension Parish Burial Grounds. I’ve been up and down that bit of road so many times, and never noticed the little lane heading down away from the rushing traffic into this peaceful and tranquil burial ground. There’s no cars rushing, no people chatting on their mobile phones, no students cycling madly to lectures/exams/supervisions/classes, no-one rushing to catch the bus, it feels a million miles away from the madness of the city, yet in reality, it is so close.
The building in the photograph has been turned into an alphabet museum which is open for a weekend a year and by appointment and it looks at all the different alphabets used throughout the graveyard.
Nature has been allowed to take over, and although the buildings are maintained, and people still visit some of the graves to lay flowers down, its a wildflower and bird paradise. Here are two beautiful angels seen in the grounds:
Some of the wildflowers (and garden escapees) I found:
And finally, some of the birds and animals I saw: