This week’s guest is Harriet Carty. Harriet is the Charity Director & Beautiful Burial Ground Project Manager at Caring for God’s Acre, an organisation which works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds and graveyards. These sites are refuges for wildlife, veteran trees and plants. They’re community assets which need protecting and preserving for us and for future generations and I was fascinated to find out more about what’s being done to look after these local treasures.
Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Overwintering butterflies
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What we cover
About Caring For God’s Acre
Why it’s so important to protect burial grounds and the wildlife and plants that call then home
Burial grounds as important historical sites and as a link to the past
Veteran trees and ancient yews in burial grounds
Biodiversity in burial sites
How you can get involved with recording wildlife
How to check if your local church is involved
About Caring for God’s Acre
“Caring for God’s Acre works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds and graveyards. There are over 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries. Appealing to many who are interested in local history and the natural world, burial grounds encapsulate the history of communities whilst offering refuge for our native wildlife.” https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk
God’s Acre by Henry Longfellow Wordsworth
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
The burial-ground God’s-Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls,
And breathes a benison o’er the sleeping dust.
God’s-Acre! Yes, that blessed name imparts
Comfort to those, who in the grave have sown
The seed that they had garnered in their hearts,
Their bread of life, alas! no more their own.
Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith, that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel’s blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.
Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,
In the fair gardens of that second birth;
And each bright blossom mingle its perfume
With that of flowers, which never bloomed on earth.
With thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up the sod,
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow!