Sharow church sets the public a biodiversity challenge


Last updated May 21, 2021
St John's Church on Berrygate Lane

St John’s Church in the village of Sharow near Ripon is asking members of the public to help it record how many different species are on its grounds in its latest push for biodiversity.

The churchyard is home to many vulnerable species and is a recognised Site of Interest for Nature Conservation, due to its high-quality hay meadow.

This type of meadow was once common pasture land, but since the 1960s it has become far rarer, with fewer than 6,000 hectares remaining in England.

On Wednesday June 9, volunteers will count the number of species that call the churchyard home. Wildlife experts will be on hand to show members of the public how to count species, and to answer their questions.

The church works in partnership with the Lower Ure Conservation Trust, which manages Nosterfield Nature Reserve, north of Ripon.

Meadow Saxifrage

The star-shaped flowers of meadow saxifrage can be seen in the churchyard (Photo: AnemoneProjectors)

A spokesperson for the trust said:

“Amongst the many species of wildflower in the churchyard grows the delicate, star-shaped meadow saxifrage.

“Once a common sight in hay meadows, it has been decreasing in abundance and range for decades due to the agricultural improvement of grasslands.

“Sites like St John’s play a very important role in the conservation of this species and many others.”

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On Saturday June 5, the site will also host a family open day to celebrate its wildlife.

This will include den building and a wildlife trail, as well as opportunities to further add to the biodiversity of the area by creating a pond. There will be a wildlife walk at 3.30pm.

Both days will begin with a count of moths at 9.30am and refreshments will be served.

For further details please contact

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