In 1993, Jane and Shirley undertook a flower and bug survey of the churchyard in St Augustine’s, Upton Lovell. As we strive for our silver Eco Church award, we realised that it was time we did another survey to see how bugs and flowers are faring 28 years on. The national ‘Count on Nature’ gave us a wonderful opportunity to come together to explore, learn and record the biodiversity in our churchyard.
On a lovely sunny day, families and villagers gathered in the churchyard with our Eco Champion Gill Boxall, and our local bug enthusiast Roger Hammond who knowledge helped us to identify all the mini-beasts that we found.
Gill explains the events of the day “our first task was to place a blanket under several trees and giving them a gentle shake to see what dropped out. We then used sweep nets and rooted around under hedges and stones, in walls and the compost heap to see what bugs would emerge. Carefully capturing the mini-beasts, we put them into magnifying bug catchers so we could identify them. All bugs and mini-beasts were returned to their own habitats after identification”.
Everyone was very enthusiastic and had great fun, so much so that we are returning in July to have another bug hunt to again explore, find and record biodiversity. And later in the year we will be joining together in the churchyard to make a bug house so we can welcome all bugs and mini-beasts, giving them a home.
Gill baked ‘bug’ cakes for all who joined us and everyone went home happily munching their ‘bug’ cakes and chatting about all they had found and seen.
We would like to thank all who joined us and encourage other churches to host bug hunts as they are not only a great excuse for spending time outdoors, but also a bug hunt gives us a greater appreciation of God’s beautiful creation, of all the millions of different mini-beats God created to support the biodiversity and life on this planet. When we realise how important bugs are to the whole of life, we gain a greater understanding of the role we have in looking after and caring for God’s creation, from the smallest bug to the largest mammal, from the tiniest seed to the biggest tree. And as we found in our bug hunt, we can have great fun whilst learning about and caring for creation.