Swaledale with Arkengarthdale
“People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure”
“The fate of animals is indissolubly connected with the fate of man”
“The love of all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man”
“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his father, but borrowed from his children”
John James Audubon
“If we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold or silver”
“It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it”
“What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?”
David Henry Thoreau
“Our task must be to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty”
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous”
“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to be indifferent towards them”
George Bernard Shaw
“All over the world the wildlife I write about is being exterminated by what we call the progress of civilisation”
“If you have a man who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men”
St. Francis of Assisi
Mark Hewitt (Wildlife Conservation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority) organised a training day in June 2013, teaching scything to members of the Conservation Group in Grinton Churchyard.
The Grinton Conservation Project has been running since 2012, and a wide range of local people have been involved with different areas of work.
Throughout 2013, the group met informally, over refreshments, at 10.30am on the first Saturday of each month in the church. The meetings were to hear how each part of the work was progressing, to share news and information, to ask for volunteers and to bring new ideas. Each time, the group also went
out into the churchyard to do some plant and animal identification, gravestone recording and tidying up.
In 2013, the following was achieved:
A scything training day was held in the churchyard, funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park, currently Grinton churchyard is managed by scything and regular mowing It is also supported by a group of local people who come to tidy round gravestones and cut weeds and brambles. Members of Low Row Church have also started to scythe their churchyard.
A monthly record was kept of which plants are growing in which parts of the churchyard (except for when they were under snow!)
Gordon Sargent from Marske kept a record of which birds were using the churchyard and where they are nesting. The result was an impressive list of the species that he found.
The Conservation Group has a grant from the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust to start a bee keeping project, and one of the churchwardens is a keen beekeeper, so the plan is to have up 3 hives in the churchyard.
Volunteers from the North Yorkshire Bat Group have started coming on a monthly basis to do a full count and record of bat activity. There were two bat walks during the year, attended by people of all ages.
Leilah Vyner from Dragon Willow (<http://www.dragonwillow.co.uk) came in December to teach a group how to weave willow wreaths for Christmas.
Jonathan Dawson from Grinton worked with volunteers to put together a database of the gravestones in Grinton churchyard, to record them before they weather too much to read, and to link with the Upper Dales Familyn History Group.
There were regular Conservation Group updates in the Reeth Gazette and displays and photographs in the church for visitors to look at. We have had many positive comments in the church visitors' book about the work in the churchyard.
The Conservation Group will continue to meet on the first Saturday of most months. Information is put on the church railings and a full programme of talks and activities is planned for 2014. You can download the programme here.