Inspiration from Churches Count on Nature

Churches across all denominations in England and Wales can now register to participate in Churches Count on Nature 2024  – an annual scheme where people visit church and chapel yards and record the plant and animal species they encounter. Often, this land is home to precious biodiverse habitats and managing them for people and nature is important. 

The biodiversity survey, supported by environmental charities A Rocha UK and Caring for God’s Acre, as well as the Church of England and the Church in Wales, takes place from 8th – 16th June 2024. Churches Count on Nature is part of Love Your Burial Ground Week.

If you don’t have a churchyard or graveyard, you can still participate by connecting with another local church that does. Or maybe you could get a local school or wildlife group involved?

Find out more, including how to access resources, record your sightings, and register your event here. There is also a map showing events already registered – why not explore what is happening in your local area?

Inspiration from churches who hosted a Churches Count on Nature event last year 

St Giles Church, Hartington

A wildflower survey during Churches Count on Nature identified 39 different species in the churchyard. Taking church outside during a Sunday service, the congregation were invited to explore what wildflowers and trees could be found in their churchyard, with the following challenge:

See how many of the twelve flowers on the sheet you can find and look out for others as well – 39 different wildflowers and plants were
counted earlier this week – not including grasses and trees! As you walk around the churchyard, take a look at areas that have
been left unmown this year for the first time (along the borders and at the rear of the church) and see how many flowers you can spot.


Wildflowers in St Giles churchyard

All Saints Church, Hemblington, Norfolk

As part of Churches Count on Nature and Great Big Green Week we encouraged visitors to look in on an exhibition in church, and then to attend a Saturday morning churchyard wildlife survey, followed by two natural history presentations in church.  The Eco-team produced a “Let’s Go Green” pamphlet made available to visitors, who were also asked to complete a lifestyle survey.  We are fortunate to live in a rural area of Norfolk with many of the Friends of the church being keen naturalists.  They have also encouraged other local people into the church and churchyard which has helped fundraising for church repairs as well as a good community spirit.


 CCoN on the Isle of Anglesey, off the north-west coast of Wales

Many of the Island’s churches are keen on doing their bit for biodiversity. Llanidan Church (amongst others) held a community event as part of Churches Count on Nature. The event started with a service that focussed on the environment and caring for God’s creation, which was followed by refreshments and an opportunity to browse the large displays of books, leaflets and other items on various aspects of flora and fauna. Some 32 people took part in the survey of wildflowers, insects, and more, and lists were compiled in Welsh, English and French – as a Breton gentleman took part! There were nearly 80 different species of wildflowers identified as well as a variety of insects and birds.









Wildflowers and recordings from Llanidan Church


Northchurch Baptist Church, Hertfordshire
Just along the road from our current church building sits the site of the original Victorian Baptist church with a burial ground around it. We hosted an event for children on the newer church site, whilst a nature count took place in the burial ground as part of Churches Count on Nature. This was our second year of counting in the space, which we are working on to increase biodiversity in partnership with the local Rural Trust, who help support adults with learning difficulties. On the newer site, we set up several kids’ activities in the church hall and in the church garden at the back. Our Creation Care Team put a lot of effort into arranging seed planting in pots, biscuit decorating with bugs, ‘make a bee’ picture, making a mini bug hotel and finding insects in the compost bucket. A blistering hot day meant that fewer turned up than we’d hoped for – however several of the ‘Eco Leaders’ area group (those who are running Eco Church in their churches) did, and were really interested in the kids’ activities. They have taken these ideas for their church’s ‘Messy Church’ events, which we were very pleased about. We used the events as a good learning exercise for next time!


Churches Count on Nature Webinar Programme
During Churches Count on Nature 2024, the Church of England Environment Programme with Caring for God’s Acre, will also run a series of webinars on different aspects of land and nature. Find out about common species in your churchyards, such as swifts and bees; watch some great advice about ancient yew trees; hear from Bishop Graham Usher about the global Communion Forest initiative; and explore the relationship between oceans, science and faith. 

Explore the full webinar programme and register to attend here.