Update at the end of 2016
Brigitte from the North Yorkshire Bat Group did a monthly Bat recording session in 2015 to understand more about the habits of the bats roosting and feeding close to the church. This will continue into 2017, and we are also investigating other possible roost sites close to the church building.
We had three beehives in the churchyard this year, and were able to harvest a quantity of honey – which always sells well.
We are working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park ‘Young Rangers’ Project Officer, to work on identifying and logging the birds and encouraging them by creating and maintaining habitats in the churchyard. The Forest Church group made ‘eco-friendly’ bird feeders for the winter, which were hung around the churchyard.
The planned pruning and removal work on the trees in the churchyard should happen in the early part of 2017.
We have designated two areas where we will aim to create good conditions for wildflowers (one for Spring, the other for early Summer species). The YDNPA Wildlife Officer has provided advice to help with these plans. Marjorie, a group member, has continued to record details of the flowers seen each month, so we can compare year to year changes.
Balancing Biodiversity and Access
We've agreed areas to leave “wild”, plus some wildlife corridors in sections not needed for grave access. We will prioritise work to help the front section of the churchyard look tidier for wedding photographs (and “best kept village” competitions!).
Gravestones & Family History
Jonathan Dawson, who lives in the village, has collated records for many of the graves (though some of the more recent ones still need to be recorded - any help much appreciated!), and added them to the churchyard map. Details of churchyard monuments, including photos and inscriptions, can be found on this website: www.2Dales.org.uk
This work is in conjunction with the Upper Dales Family History Group
The Conservation Group now has a Google Group for sharing information and activities.