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Churchyard Recording

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The presentation from the AGM of the Sussex Botanical Recording Society 4 March 2017

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Churchyard Recording

  1. 1. CHURCHYARD RECORDING ACROSS SUSSEX IN 2016 AND FORWARD TO 2017
  2. 2. THANK-YOU AGAIN TO RECORDERS • 75 churchyards/cemeteries recorded in East Sussex • 81 churchyards/cemeteries in West Sussex • A few churchyards need a further visit • See list on table. Photo. H. Proctor
  3. 3. ANALYSES OF THE RECORDS AND RECORDING IN 2017 Grasses Wall flora Ancient Woodland Indicators Unimproved Grassland indicators Survey form data Is there a correlation with the indicator species? Best management Changes in the flora since the 1980s Notes on Recording
  4. 4. GRASSES 17 species - Battle Cemetery, Newick Churchyard 22 species – Milland < 5 species - may indicate tussocky, coarse grasses only or shaved turf! “Poland” needed next time! Beddingham Church, 8 species, large area never cut, also areas strimmed or mown regularly. Photo. H. Proctor Photo. Judy Clark
  5. 5. WALL FLORA Asplenium ceterach at Fittleworth, Binstead and Plaistow. Five Asplenium species at Fittleworth ! Selaginella kraussiana, Ardingly and Salehurst Photo.Roger Golding Photo.James McCulloch Many other species grow on walls, eg. at Litlington. Photo.H.Proctor
  6. 6. Indicator species of Ancient Semi-natural Woodland • List used includes :- • Anemone nemorosa • Conopodium majus • Epipactis helleborine • Luzula forsteri • Melica uniflora • Orchis mascula • Ranunculus auricomus • Sanicula europaea • et al – see list on table Photo. H.Proctor SCORING Species given a score of 1 but Orchids = 3 Hadlow Down scored 7 Milland scored 12
  7. 7. Indicator species of Unimproved Grassland • Scoring:- • 1= unimproved grassland • 2 = long period of uninterrupted grassland management • 3 = Orchid species • See list on table Photo. H. Proctor HIGHEST SCORING CHURCHYARDS/CEMETERIES Ebernoe = 30 Coolhurst = 28 Staplefield = 28 Spithurst = 24 Hadlow Down = 20
  8. 8. Survey Form data Shaved ! OR Abandoned ! Plants not allowed to flower and set seed Photo. H. Proctor Photo. H. Proctor Cuttings left in situ enrich the soil, Coarse, tussocky grasses Seeds cannot germinate Becomes species-poor.
  9. 9. A few statistics from 155 survey forms Most of churchyard regularly mown short = 53 (34%) Part of churchyard/cemetery not cut regularly = 102 (66%) Cuttings removed = 78 (50%) Cuttings not removed = 53 (34%) Not known = 24 (16%) Photo. H. Proctor Photo.H.Proctor
  10. 10. Is there a correlation between good management and the data? YES, sometimes! BUT DOUBT re grass cuttings ‘apparently’ removed. If mulched back into the turf they soon disappear. Facility for disposal of grass cuttings needed + manual work! Photo H. Proctor Photo.H.Proctor
  11. 11. Caring for God’s Acre Advocates wildlife friendly management of churchyards and burial sites. • Involve local people • Site plan • Record plants • Inform parishioners • Management plan • Annual activity programme http://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk Photo.H.Proctor
  12. 12. Changes in the flora since 1980s 1980s Manual records 2016 Electronic records Comparison raises queries! Eg. is it really possible to lose Ground Elder? Losses = 54 Gains = 46 Continuous = 88 All photos. Patricia Donovan HADLOW DOWN
  13. 13. Notes on recording Please enter Location + churchyard or cemetery Correct status - N, P, C, E. Notes on habitats and frequencies in the Comments column A central grid reference in the Comments column below the last record. Please avoid duplicates! If uncertain of ID, do ask for help! David Carstairs, 2004
  14. 14. Caring for the Co-ordinator Please add to the beginning of the file name, before sending:- Location + Church or cemetery Add the full date at the end. EG. Upper Dicker_Holy Trinity Church_TQ50P_HMP_27_02_2017 David Carstairs, 2004 Please send after each visit
  15. 15. THANK-YOU AND ENJOY! Whatever the weather! David Carstairs, 2004 Cartoons from Marren and Carstairs, 2004. Twitching in the Swamp. Thatcham, Swamp Publishing. Photo. H. Proctor

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