St John’s Churchyard, Woodland and hedgerow habitat improvements

Volunteers at St John's ChurchyardSt John's Churchyard

St John’s Preservation Society partner with the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area to maintain the Churchyard at Kate’s Hill and create a new Nature Reserve

The work at St. John’s Churchyard, which is located close to the industrial heart of Black Country Conurbation, is important as it provides a nature-rich stepping stone across the urban area where green space is patchy. Maintaining this area and others similar ensures a much needed habitat for declining species by providing food sources, refuges from predation, and nesting habitat. Like many urban areas St John’s Churchyard in Dudley harbours a number of small patches of woodland as well an old defunct hedge line that pre-project only consisted of a few overstood hazel stools.

The recent work has involved creating a dead hedge out of the hazel to protect the newly re-planted hedgerow as part of the Nature Improvement Area in order to improve the site for wildlife. The hedge runs along old hedgeline which has grown out and died off, leaving just a few trees, so with the help of the local volunteer group as well as the St. John’s Preservation Society there has been success in restoring connectivity between the shrubs. Native wildflowers have also been planted on the site.

Since 2007 St John’s Preservation Society has been working with dedicated local organisations clearing bramble and has recently started taking care of the areas surrounding the churchyard – which they have dubbed the nature reserve. However, this is only the start of the project! The Preservation Society hopes to bring further benefits to the site - we will report back on these when further progress has been made.