Beautiful Burial Ground Project Wins Award

We are delighted to hear that the Beautiful Burial Ground Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been awarded the Best Practice Award for Knowledge Sharing (2022) by CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management). This award ‘recognises the high standard of professionalism and ecological environmental management practice’ and has been given for the project’s contribution to sharing the natural environment with people.

The Beautiful Burial Ground Project team has been sharing knowledge about the built, natural and social heritage of burial grounds since 2018. The activities on the biodiversity side have involved encouraging wildlife recording in burial grounds, submitting records, and making those records accessible to the general public, recorders and those managing these special places. The project has developed a Beautiful Burial Grounds Portal within the NBN Atlas which is pioneering the use of the NBN Atlas for a specific project.

The project has delivered over 150 training activities for over 2000 volunteers. There have been many sessions specific for people with disability needs such as those with mobility, vision or hearing impairments. Now more people can enjoy identifying wildlife and submitting records to the NBN Atlas which everyone can access. Groups have also been encouraged to run their own recording activities – for example during the last three years of Love Your Burial Ground week over 800 events were organised – ranging from small bug hunts with local schools in churchyards to BioBlitz’s in large cemeteries.

To date the project has directly resulted in over 42,000 new records. You can search the NBN Atlas to find what species have been found in your local burial ground.

Working in partnership with the NBN Trust, the Church of England and the Church in Wales, most burial grounds across England and Wales have been mapped and the next step is to bring this biological data into the church planning system so that site managers have an idea of the biological value of their sites, with supporting information on how to look after them in the best way.

Many aspects of the project will carry on after it finishes in late 2022. The project team will keep encouraging and supporting people to identify and record the wildlife in burial grounds – helping grow the understanding of, and excitement in, these unique places. Historical records will also be added to the portal where permission has been given.

You can find out more about the project and how to get involved on the Beautiful Burial Grounds website.

CIEEM 2022 Awards Winner Logo

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