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Science
A TOMB WITH A VIEW
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Tuesday 11:00-11:30
Churchyards and churches themselves are important habitats for wildlife because of the way we have used them often over many centuries. In a rapidly changing environment they are a vital oasis for large numbers of wild plants and animals, as well as people.
nhuradio@bbc.co.uk
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A Tomb with a View
PRESENTER
BRETT WESTWOOD
Brett Westwood
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 23†April 2002
Brett and Francesca study lichens

Naturalist Brett Westwood discovers why some churchyards are rich in wildlife. In the company of author Francesca Greenoak and Father Allan, they scrutinise tombstones for lichens, visit a foxes den, witness the banks of primroses and violets and look for green woodpeckers hunting for ants amongs the grass. Wildlife colonises every corner, from the gravestones to the church windows, and even to the angels' armpits!

The importance of churchyards for conservation is now being recognised. They can act as reservoirs from which the surrounding countryside can be colonised, and help strengthen populations of plants and animals. A classic example of colonisation in action is the snowdrop whose hedgerow colonies can often be traced back to their origins, planted on a grave.

Poems featured in the programme:

The Excursion by William Wordsworth.

The Snowdrop by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

What becomes of the broken hearted by Elspeth Barker, published in the Womenís Column of the Guardian 26.8.96

Young Reynard by George Meredith.

Old Yew by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

God's Acre by Longfellow.

Diary of Francis Kilvert from May 1871 written at Langley Burrell.

Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project.

The Living Churchyard and Cemetery Projectís remit is to enhance wildlife and its habitat in churchyards and burial grounds through conservation management.

For information about the booklets they produce, please write to:

The Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project
The Arthur Rank Centre, National Agricultural Centre
Stoneleigh Park
Warwickshire
CV8 2LZ.
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