Our Churchyard

Caring for Westfield Churchyard

Our beautiful Churchyard is managed for people and wildlife. We are cutting pathways for access between the graves and through the wild flowers.This means we have areas of short grass, some medium length and some long grass which all have their part to play. The wildlife area will be cut as usual in September to optimise the flowering season for our butterflies and insects etc.  The other areas that are medium/long will be cut at the end of July. We are following advice given by various organisations: Caring for God's Acre, Eco Church and The Church of England Environment Programme.         

We hope you are enjoying the Ox-eye Daisies and Bird's-foot Trefoil as much as the bees and other pollinators are at the moment. 


    August Update from Rev Joy...

  It was a big decision earlier in the year for us to support the No Mow May campaign to help our bees, butterflies, other pollinators and wildlife to flourish. Along with other churches with churchyards, councils responsible for roadside verges and legions of gardeners we joined in. We have actively managed the churchyard for people and wildlife cutting many paths through the flowers and grasses. We are sorry if it has upset some people, but we can assure you it was not because of a lack of money or respect for those commemorated in our churchyard. And now the time has come for the Big Cut! The grasses and flowers in the Churchyard that have supported so much wildlife will be gradually cut back by our contractor and volunteers. We will maintain the access paths while we do this work, and our Wildlife Area will be left until September. It has been fantastic to see so many butterflies and other insects benefitting from the Churchyard this year...they were the sole reason for letting things grow and we have been well rewarded. An unexpected benefit has been the return of wild Orchids to the churchyard, along with Foxgloves, Trailing St John'swort and other wildflowers absent in recent times. The Ox-eye daisies were a cheerful presence throughout early summer and now the purple blooms of Knapweed are attracting butterflies like Common blues, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Skippers and Meadow browns.



Some links with lots of information...

Caring for God's Acre is a charity that specialises in the preservation of wildlife and the heritage of burial grounds, graveyards and cemeteries (caringforgodsacre.org.uk)

Eco Church - An A Rocha UK Project

About our environment programme | The Church of England


Westfield Churchyard Managenment Plan 2022/3


Management of the Churchyard

  • Areas around graves, strips alongside pathways and access to graves maintained and cut regularly.
  • Less frequent mowing of main areas of open grassland to enable short stemmed flowers to bloom such as Bird’s foot trefoil, White clover, Self Heal, Mouse-eared Hawkbit etc. Paths to be cut through the wildflowers.
  • Annual cutting (scything) of main wildlife area. Clearance of cuttings afterwards.
  • Bi-annual cutting of half of the area to the west of the wildlife area in rotation.
  • Annual cutting of the bank near the Remembrance Garden.
  • Remembrance Garden- work to be tackled three times a year by a contractor and maintained more regularly by volunteers to include the removal of litter -plastic bags and cans etc. to prevent harm to wildlife and the environment.
  • Hedges to be cut in the Winter.
  • Maintenance of trees in Churchyard.
  • Only native trees to be planted. Conifers to be discouraged on graves and those already planted to be kept small by volunteers.
  • Sighting of bee hotels.
  • Insect surveys to be carried out including the Big Butterfly Count.
  • We discourage the use of pesticides and herbicides in the Churchyard.



   Equipment - mowers and strimmer- serviced annually.

  Labour - volunteers and contractors

  Grant - from Parish Council


  Financial costs

   Contractor for main part of graveyard. Matt Babbage to be contacted for price for 2023

  Servicing of equipment.

  Maintenance of trees- jobs to be decided using the tree survey.

    Information and Guidance

  A Rocha-Eco Church

  Caring for God’s Acre

  Plant Life

  The Church of England Environment Programme

  Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre

  Sussex Wildlife Trust


Sue Howard


Photos of the Churchyard ...June 2021...









Wild Flowers in the Churchyard

Pictures of some of our wild flowers.

Wildlife in the Churchyard

Videos and pictures of wildlife in the Churchyard

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