Wildlife

St. Tudno's churchyard

We try to maintain the churchyard to allow wildflowers and wildlife to flourish, while preventing the graves from becoming overgrown. Although it is not always easy to achieve both objectives, we are encouraged by the amount of wildlife appearing in the churchyard. The grass is cut twice a year and as much of the cut grass as possible is raked and removed, to encourage the growth of other plants. Paths and the seating area receive additional cuts as required. A copy of the Churchyard Management Policy can be found here.

A survey of plants in June 2014 recorded 70 species (not including bryophytes, fungi or lichens) and the species list can be downloaded here as a PDF file.

Surveys of lichens have been performed by the British Lichen Society in 1992 and in 2015 as part of a nationwide Churchyard Survey. These surveys have shown more than 100 species in St. Tudno’s churchyard.

Limpet shells on a grave.

Limpet shells on a grave.

Birds most frequently seen in the churchyard are jackdaws, which often gather in the churchyard at dusk, and herring gulls. However during 2015 a pair of swallows nested under the eaves of the church and successfully raised three chicks and the birds could be seen hunting insects above the churchyard. Other birds bring seafood meals from the shore to eat in the churchyard and while limpet shells are the most common remains, crab shells and fish bones have also been seen. The suspected culprits are crows but while the shells build up we have not yet spotted the birds which bring them. More unusual birds which have been reported include firecrests in the black pine trees.

Nests of buff tail bumblebees have been found in the churchyard but these can be hard to spot as the bees nest in holes in the ground and the only sign may be bees going in and out of the nest entrance.  Nests of the yellow meadow ant are easily seen as large, grass covered mounds and the plants growing on the mounds may be different from those in the surrounding area. In the early morning, in particular, rabbits may be seen scampering about the churchyard and the Great Orme goats visit the churchyard from time to time.

In the churchyard this month: buff tailed bumblebee feeding on thrift.

Bumblebee feeding on thrift

Some examples of the churchyard wildlife are shown here. Click on a photograph for a larger image. We would be delighted to receive reports of other wildlife seen in the churchyard.

Flowers
Spring

Wild arum

Wild arum

Lesser celandine

Lesser celandine

Violet

Violet

Summer

Thrift

Thrift

Yarrow

Yarrow

Pyramidal orchids

Pyramidal orchids

Autumn

Ragwort

Ragwort

Knapweed

Knapweed with hover fly

Blackberry

Blackberry

Fungi
Fungus Fungus Fungus
Mosses
Moss Moss Moss
Lichens

Lichens on limestone

Lichens on limestone

Lichens on tree

Lichens on tree

Lichens on sandstone

Lichens on sandstone

Insects

Meadow brown butterfly

Meadow brown butterfly

Skipper butterfly and six spot burnet moth

Skipper butterfly and six spot burnet moth

Cinnabar moth caterpillars

Cinnabar moth caterpillars

Buff tail bumblebee

Buff tail bumblebee

Common carder bumblebee

Common carder bumblebee

Red tailed bumblebee (male)

Red tailed bumblebee (male)

Birds

Jackdaw

Jackdaw

Swallows

Swallows

Herring gull

Herring gull

Goats

New goat kid

Nanny goat with new born kid

Nanny goats and kids

Nanny goats and kids

Billy goats

Billy goats

 

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