Funding to create biodiversity areas in Kempsey & Norton8 Aug 2019 By Sam Setchell
Churches in Norton and Kempsey are planning to create biodiversity areas in their churchyards thanks to new funding.
St Mary's Church in Kempsey and St James the Great Church in Norton have both received funding to enable biodiversity projects to take place in their churchyards and the surrounding areas.
St Mary's, Kempsey has received £8,471 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund. The project will focus upon the protection, restoration and enhancement of Hatfield Brook’s wetland habitats, restoration of wildflower rich grassland and the establishment of a traditional Worcestershire orchard for wildlife and the local community on Church meadows. St Mary’s churchyard will also be managed in order to promote a mosaic of grassland and wildflowers.
St James' in Norton has received £2,971 from the same fund. This will create a community space to include a wildlife area with a diverse range of habitats which will provide an attractive and peaceful place for visitors to the church and will act as an education facility for a range of community groups, such as schools.
Both projects are part of the Natural Networks programme, delivered in partnership between Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. St Mary's has also received £10,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All programme, which will help the PCC to achieve their vision of creating a community space around the church which both protects and enhances the environment and benefits the wider community.
Rector Mark Badger said: "We're delighted to have received this support. Our churches and their surrounds are not just a monuments to the past, but part of a living, developing community. The grants will help us to protect and enhance the churchyards and also enable us to involve local groups in the projects. We're committed to making both churches a spiritual and community resource, not only a sacred place, but also a shared space, where community can be celebrated and strengthened."