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13 November 2014

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You are in: Oxford > Nature > Nature features > Churchyard Conservation

Members of the Wildlife Watch Group at work

Members of the Wildlife Watch Group

Churchyard Conservation

Find out more about the local MBE awarded conservationist and wildlife watcher.

I have had a lifelong love of natural history, particularly wild flowers, being encouraged by family members who also shared this interest.

Stanford Primary School Wildlife Watch Group

Stanford Primary School Wildlife Watch

In 1980 I started a personal study of the flora of old woodlands and fields near our home in West Sussex.  I recorded the findings with slide film and used these to show to local groups and organisations.  Through membership of the Sussex Wildlife Trust I learnt about conservation and also became involved with the local Wildlife Watch Group, a club for junior members of the Trust.

On moving to Oxfordshire in 1986 I decided to continue my association with Wildlife Watch, joined the Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) and started a group in Stanford in the Vale Primary School with the encouragement and support of the head teacher. This group continues to flourish and we have just celebrated our 22nd anniversary. The club meets after school once a month in term time, with additional activities occasionally at lunch times.

Margaret Grant

Margaret Grant

The idea of using the churchyard as a place to study wildlife came about in 1990.  For some time churchyards, nationally, have been considered valuable wildlife habitats. So in conjunction with the Vicar and Parochial Church Council I drew up a management plan with some areas set aside specially to encourage wildlife.  Since then generations of children, aged 8-11 years, have carried out studies, recorded their findings and produced displays for the church notice boards which, in turn, inform the general public of the value of this ancient habitat.

In 2003 I was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, the citation being "For services to nature conservation in Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire". This honour I feel must be shared with all the adults who have helped run the Wildlife Watch Group over the years and the team who manage the churchyard.

last updated: 23/03/2009 at 11:26
created: 19/03/2009

You are in: Oxford > Nature > Nature features > Churchyard Conservation

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