It was agreed during 2014 that a significant area of the churchyard should be given over to wild flowers, focusing on the areas to the west of the church, along the northern boundary under the trees and under the trees at the entrance to the churchyard. The areas immediately around the graves would be mown with mown paths linking them.
Apart from the obvious benefits to wildlife and diversity, we felt that there would be important benefits to both the local community and to the many walkers and visitors who come to West Littleton. There is a well used public footpath through the churchyard which features in a number of walking guidebooks. The church is an important attraction with its 13th century bellcote and fine collection of listed chest tombs. There is already much of interest with our church trail, well documented history and comprehensive website but the churchyard itself is perhaps less interesting. The churchyard will ultimately be greatly enhanced by the development of an attractive collection of wild flowers and bulbs together with the wildlife which they attract. The wild flower project will be an important added attraction, not only for those who live here but also for the people who come to visit the village to walk, learn about their heritage or just spend some time of quiet reflection in the beautiful setting.
We have planted wild daffodils, cyclamen, snowdrops and anemones, bluebells, fritillaries, cowslips and a sowing of meadow flowers and grasses in the autumn of 2014. These plantings are now growing strongly and will gradually mature this year and next. Some photographs of the stage of growth reached are below. We have recently (April 2015) planted a further swathe of the churchyard in the north east corner shown as for Spring planting on the churchyard plan. This planting includes:-
Foxglove, Red Campion, Ox eye daisy, Lesser Knapweed, Field Scabious, Corn Cockle and Cornflower and a wide variety of other wild flower seeds
The cost of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project has been met by a generous grant from the Tormarton Parish Council, and a number of private donors.
This third phase of planting in the north eastern corner of the churchyard was made possible by a generous and much appreciated grant from the South Gloucestershire Council Biodiversity Action Group.
For further details please contact David Adams on 01225 891100.
Click the drawing below to see the planting plan enlarged.
The pictures below show early results of the first two phases of planting last autumn as of mid April 2015.