We are very privileged to be custodians of this two acre plot and seek to tidy the churchyard, honouring those who now rest within this sacred space whilst creating an environment that will encourage wildlife. Swift boxes have been placed in the eves of the west side of the church, bats, slow worms and barn owls have been seen in the churchyard together with many birds, moths and butterflies.

Work on the trees that had ash dieback, an ancient yew that required support and a tall conifer that needed pruning, has now been completed and we can relax for another year.  Ash die back is a progressive disease and we will be checking the diseased trees regularly to ensure the safety of visitors to the churchyard.  Trees that have been felled will be replaced this autumn and the requirement from the Diocese is they have to be ‘forest trees’.

Work on the two banks at the north end of the churchyard has been a challenge but we are learning as we go along.  The intention is to create a wild flower area on both sides of the path leading to what we hope will be a car parking area.  The removal of thistles should have been done earlier before they flowered – will be better prepared next year!

Permission has now been given for one of the two sheds to be erected and grants for the repair of the paths, applied for.

On Tuesday mornings, amazing gentlemen, work very hard, mowing and strimming the churchyard.  They could do with more help in keeping on top of this plot.  If you have time to spare, it would be wonderful to hear from you.   They meet at 10:30 – 1pm (ish), depending on the weather.

Barbara Pettegree
St Peters Church Ropley

By paulE