This event was planned by The Friends of All Saints Church, to encourage people to see what local conservation and wildlife groups do and spark an interest in their work, as well as enjoy and appreciate All Saints very special churchyard habitat.
On Saturday, 14th May, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and resilience of the members of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT), the Bure Valley Conservation Group, our very own Blofield and District Conservation Group (BADCOG) and local naturalist David Bryant, all of whom encouraged children and adults alike to look for and identify wild flowers, birds, beetles, and bugs – regret it was too cold and windy for moths and butterflies – and make bird boxes, fir cone feeders, dragon flies, and generally get involved with wildlife in the churchyard.
There were also displays of information about local and national organisations supporting birds, bats and wildlife generally, and information about surveys undertaken in the churchyard in previous years.
Hemblington is one of the churches taking part in the NWT’s Norfolk Churchyard Conservation Scheme, which helps churches manage their churchyards to protect the plant species of particular interest while observing the main requirements of the church. Training, support, advice and surveys are offered by the Trust and a new team of six people is currently being trained and supported to undertake regular surveys at All Saints. The southern area of the churchyard has been exceptionally well managed by BADCOG for many years. Since Saxon times, it has never been ploughed nor treated with pesticide and consequently wild flowers have flourished. During a survey at the Wildlife Day, 67 species of wild flowers were identified, which is an excellent start for our new surveyors.
The birdwatchers spotted 30 species but only 3 types of butterfly. However it really was a very cold, windy day, which may have kept some visitors away from the event as well as the anticipated butterflies and moths!
The Friends of All Saints would like to say a big thank you to the NWT, the BVCG, BADCOG, David Bryant, the Church’s events team for providing all the food and hot drinks and all our intrepid visitors for braving the outdoors on such a cold day. We hope it will encourage people to get more involved with appreciating the wild life all around us.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help us manage the north side of the churchyard, mowing and raking up during mid and late summer, will be most welcome. Please contact Hemblington@gmail.com or telephone (01603) 715 804.