Wildflower Survey in Kirby Underdale Churchyard

As part of the ‘Love your Burial Ground Week’, church warden Ruth Beckett has produced a booklet on the wildflowers in Kirby Underdale Churchyard.  Describing the booklet as ‘a work in progress’, Ruth is hoping to produce a more detailed guide as more flowers are identified.

As part of this process, on 12th June –an afternoon for waterproof clothing rather than suncream - Martin Stringer, a wildflower expert from Nunburnholme, and Katherine Robinson, who has done so much work on Jubilee Meadow between Kirby Underdale and Bugthorpe, joined Ruth in Kirby Underdale Churchyard.  ‘It was quite incredible,’ Ruth said, ‘to see how many flowers I had missed on the first survey which led to the booklet.’  Nor was it simply wildflowers attracting attention.  There are many lichens too in the churchyard. 

In order to create a habitat for wildflowers, different areas of Kirby Underdale Churchyard are being managed in different ways.  The area to the west of the church path, which has a wonderful display of Spring flowers, has been cut. So too has the north side of the churchyard.  A large area to the east of the church path, however, has been left to allow meadowsweet, ox-eye daisies and meadow cranesbill to flower.  All the churchyard will be cut in early autumn.  Meanwhile, a path has been cut to allow people to enjoy the wildflowers and to look at some of the old gravestones in that part of the churchyard.

Copies of the booklet are available for sale in Kirby Underdale Church.

Some of our flowers are pictured below. (All images © Dr Ruth Beckett)


Green Alkanet

German Speedwell

Herb Robert


Red Campion


Cuckoo Flower


Ox Eye Daisy

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