ECOLOGY & BIODIVERSITY
Graveyards can also provide an important refuge for wildlife, particularly in built up urban areas such as the lands that surround St James’s Church. The graveyard provides an island of mature woodland habitat in an urban setting, and is important for local birds, mammals, insects and plants.
Read more about what ecology and biodiversity can be found at St James's Graveyard below.
Although graveyards and cemeteries are seldom designed with nature conservation in mind, many can develop important habitats for plants and animals due to their quiet, undisturbed nature.
Some woodland species which were recorded at St James's graveyard survey include Hedgehog, Fox, Pygmy Shrew, Wood Mouse, Brown Rat and Red Squirrel.
Birds found at St James's graveyard include Goldcrest, Fieldfare, Robin, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Blackbird and Wren.There is also a high possibility of Bat species to be found in the graveyard grounds but due to vegetation on site being so dense over the years, they have not been identified yet.
There is a dense tree canopy covering the majority of the graveyard. The predominant species are copses of self seeded Sycamore (Acer pseudoplataus). These are accompanied by specimen Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Sycamore and a Yew (Taxus baccata) tree.
The understory is made up of Wych Elm, Elder, Holly, Hawthorn and Buddleja and sapling Sycamore, Elm and Ash.
Grasslands are one of the most valuable habitats found in graveyards. These grasslands can be important for plants and nectar feeding species.
In St James's graveyard the understory planting consists mainly of shade loving ground floor. A carpet of Ivy (Hedera helix) dominates the graveyard, but there are a few other species including Wood Rush, Nettle, Cock's Foot and Cleavers.
In certain instances there are clearances where small amounts of bluebells can be seen emerging. At higher level pockets of Spindle (Euonymus), Enchanters Nightshade and Snowberry are present. A small amount of Japanese Knotweed is also evident.