Churchyard Update (31/5)

By Tim Hewitt, St Mary’s Head Gardener/ Community Gardener

This week, we will engage in grassland management, just as the meadow grasses are at their best.

Where May’s lush growth has encroached on paths, through-routes and other plants, we will strim judiciously. However, this week is also a time to walk and experience a meadow at its peak, so try to do that.

This week too, we launch our free-to-enter sunflower-growing competition. Towards the far wall, a patch has been prepared for anyone to plant and nurture a sunflower. Prizes in August for the best ones. Just plant and label your entry.

The sand bed is also reaching a slightly crazy aesthetic peak. However, it was primarily set up as a home for ground-nesting insects. We hope that as more emerge, they will come to see it as a great place to move into.

On that note, we are lucky to have local insect expert Tony Madgwick, visit us on Saturday 4th June, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. This is a free, drop-in session where Tony will talk about and show you the fascinating insects of the churchyards. He really is worth hearing, so do drop in.

Next week is also the national Churches Count on Nature, which we participate in, so Tony will get our week off to a good start.

Also, on Sunday 12th June, Caroline Nash will lead a bat walk in the churchyards. This costs £7.50, with all proceeds to the London Bat Group. It is limited to 15 people, so if you want a place, email me at

Quote of the Week

“A single red mason bee pollinates 120 times more flora than a single worker honeybee.”

Volunteer Times

St Mary’s offers weekly supervised volunteering in the churchyard at these times:

Tuesdays: 1pm to 3.30pm

Wednesdays: 1pm to 4pm 

Thursdays: 1pm to 4pm

Fridays: 1pm to 4pm

There’s no need to book; just turn up, preferably with your own gloves. Tools and expert instruction will be provided!

Burials in Bloom 2022 

Dozens of local people have adopted a grave to plant around and care for; if you would like to adopt a grave that’s currently not visited or looked after, contact me at


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