Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Parish Life - February 2017

I was very interested to read a recent article in the Saturday Guardian by Alys Fowler. In it, she was advocating a messy garden over the winter, to provide a place for insects, especially butterflies and moths, to hibernate. The “old stems, dead leaves, spent seedheads, winter weeds, dying growth” all provide a “winter duvet that protects insects and their pupae and larvae, and that stops the precious top layer of soil being washed away by winter rains and harsh winds.” Personally, I don’t need much of an excuse to leave the garden alone during the winter months. I would much rather look at the frosted landscape and sit inside, in front of a warm fire, whilst planning my seed order from the inviting pictures in the garden catalogues.

We do have a “messy garden” approach in the churchyard. Work is suspended from December until March and we designate an area each year to be left untouched, at least for part of the growing season as well. This is a deliberate way of imitating nature but this patch may look rather unkempt to visitors and locals, who might be expecting to see a neatly regimented and tidy graveyard. Our argument needs no defence; records show that biodiversity is in decline and any extra spot that will act as a haven of undisturbed refuge for a variety of fauna has to be encouraged.

That is not to say that we do not have a plan for the rest of the churchyard as well and this is reviewed and discussed at our annual AGM. This will take place on Monday 13th February at 7.00 p.m. in the Plough, Kington St.Michael. Attendees are welcomed with a free drink, before we get down to business. We would be very pleased to see some new faces joining the meeting, as new ideas are always welcome. Hope to see you there!