Celebrate Churches Count on Nature Virtually [online webinar programme]
May 6 - July 10
Churches Count on Nature is a unique opportunity for those who love their churchyards and church spaces to take part in the largest ever nature count. It is jointly run by the conservation charities A Rocha UK, Caring for God’s Acre together with the Church of England and the Church in Wales. Find out how you can take part here.
The following free webinars will be complementing hundreds of local Churches Count on Nature events.
A Rocha UK speakers:
- ECO CHURCH – LAND on Tuesday 7 June, noon-1pm.
This webinar will look at the ‘Land’ section of the Eco Church framework.Land is a key category of Eco Church and whether a church has a significant amount of land, a thin border of land around the main building, or even a paved over area, there is plenty that can be done to manage the land for nature and people.
This webinar will look at just some of the many possibilities for managing churchland, drawing on examples from bronze, silver and gold awarded churches.
Speaker: Helen Stephens is Church Relations Manager at A Rocha UK and oversees the Eco Church programme. BOOK HERE
- URBAN HOPE – HOW TO CREATE SPACE FOR NATURE IN A SMALL SPACE on Friday 10 June, noon-1pm.
Very few of us own a large estate or our own allotments or nature reserve, but it is still entirely possible even in a very small urban space to transform it for nature and in doing so provide a place where mental and physical health can be improved as well as tackling wildlife loss and climate impacts.This webinar will take a creative look at how to make best use of small areas at a time when the pressure on nature and on our own health is greater than ever.
Join us for an exploration of the incredible actions we can all take to make small spaces work for people and nature.
Speaker: Andy Lester is Head of Conservation at A Rocha UK. BOOK HERE
Other webinars in the Churches Count on Nature series:
- “KNOWING YOUR ANT FROM YOUR ELDER” WHY AND HOW TO RECORD DURING CHURCHES COUNT ON NATURE
This practical session will tell you why biological recording in churchyards and burial grounds is so important, and how to do it, pitched at the interested beginner.
Plants, birds, trees, insects, small mammals, and much more all abound in our precious green spaces. How do we figure out what we’ve got? And once we’ve identified it, how do we log the information?
You will be shown how to use the app iNaturalist, and how it links through to the National Biodiversity Network database, and from there into the Church Heritage Record.
Speaker: Harriet Carty, Director of the conservation charity Caring for Gods Acre
on Friday 6 May, noon-1pm. BOOK HERE
and Tuesday 31 May, 4-5pm, BOOK HERE
- LIFE ON THE EDGE: EXPLORING THE OCEANS THROUGH SCIENCE AND FAITH on Monday 6 June, noon-1pm.
23 of our Diocese have coastal boundaries, a total of 2,663 miles. ‘No-one is more than 70 miles from the sea’. This webinar explores the challenges and opportunities in finding ways that churchescan deepen and enrich their congregations’ understanding of blue issues as well as green issues, and the relationship between ocean, science and faith.
Speaker: David Curry is the Exeter Diocese Environmental Advisor (voluntary) BOOK HERE
- GETTING INVOLVED IN THE BATS IN CHURCHES PROJECT on Monday 6 June, 4-5pm.
As part of the Bats in Churches Project, we are carrying out surveys to understand more about bats’ use of churches.Everyone can take part. This talk will cover what we’ve learnt so far and how you can get involved in the final and, hopefully, busiest year of surveys.
Speaker: Claire Boothby is the Training and Survey Officer for the Bats in ChurchesProject. BOOK HERE
- FINDING OUR FAITH IN TREES on Tuesday 7 June, 4-5pm.
This webinar will talk about what the wood has to tell us : Christian symbolism of trees/Counting the rings – trees in our history/Wood, foliage, fruit – using and delighting in trees/Who belongs in the wood – native trees and incomers/Joining in the story – planting trees and wilding.
Speaker: John Rodwell works as a priest and ecologist together. He is co-author of Creating New Native Woodlands and chair of the Land & Biodiversity Group of Diocesan Environmental Officers. BOOK HERE
- HOW THE CHURCH COMMISSIONERS ARE MANAGING LAND FOR CLIMATE AND NATURE on Wednesday 8 June, noon-1pm.
With a significant rural portfolio the Church Commissioners for England are seeking to lead the way in managing their land to address the climate and biodiversity crises.This webinar will provide an overview of the Commissioners’ farm holdings and the recent work undertaken on carbon and natural capital baselining.
There will also be a chance to have a deeper dive to look at the collaborative links established with other environmental groups; how the Commissioners are engaging with their farm tenants and some of the positive initiatives that are ongoing.
Speakers: Ciara Williams and Guy Webb are asset managers responsible for the oversight of the Commissioners’ rural portfolio and delivery of strategy. Both are Chartered Surveyors and having previously worked as land agents both Ciara and Guy have an in-depth understanding of the challenges currently faced by farmers and landowners during the agricultural transition. BOOK HERE
- BLOOMING AND BEAUTIFUL – FLOWER RICH CHURCHYARDS on Wednesday 8 June, 4-5pm.
Since 1945, 97% of flower rich grassland – once widespread in the countryside – has vanished. Many churchyards act as havens for this and the associated animals.Broadly speaking burial sites dating pre 1945 are likely to have a rich variety of plants and just need the right management to help it to flower in all its glory.
Andrea Gilpin from CfGA hosts this webinar exploring how to manage churchyard grassland in a way that encourages wildflowers whilst being sensitive to visitors’ needs.
Speaker: Andrea Gilpin works for conservation charity Caring for God’s Acre, where she leads on advising people in managing their burial ground, along with developing and delivering projects. Her background is in ecology. BOOK HERE
- THE NATURE RECOVERY NETWORK on Thursday 9 June, noon-1pm.
This webinar will introduce the Nature Recovery Network (NRN).The NRN will be a single network of joined up, wildlife rich sites, helping us to reverse species declines across England by improving and creating habitat.
Establishing the NRN will also enable us to enjoy and connect with nature where we live, work and play – benefiting our health and wellbeing.
Speakers: Tony Juniper is chair of Natural England. Before Joining NaturalEngland he was the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK and President of the Wildlife Trusts. Jamie Lock is a lead adviser for NaturalEngland’s NRN partnership team. BOOK HERE
- SUSTAINING CHURCH: USING YOUR CHURCH SPACES FOR GROWING FOOD AND GROWING MISSION on Thursday 9 June, 4-5pm.
Come along to be inspired by models of community food growing and outdoor worship, as part of Christian communities that are engaging with creation and climate emergency.Hazelnut Community Farm is creating a sustainable model of church and community engagement, able to flourish in a climate crisis. They use urban agriculture, food production, and waste management as tools for social innovation, economic inclusion, and political & spiritual transformation.
Speaker: Revd John White, Founder, Hazelnut Community Farm, plus guests t.b.c from other church food-growing projects. BOOK HERE
- FROM GLOBAL TO LOCAL: TACKLING THE JOINT CRISES OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CLIMATE CHANGE onFriday 10 June, 4-5pm.
This last webinar in the series ends with the big picture, for the UK and globally, and how this relates to local action.You will get an overview of the twin crises we face (climate change and biodiversity loss) and the linked solutions that exist, which can come from becoming “naturepositive”. It will touch on this year’s two international COPs, on bio-diversity and climate, and how they link to national and local responses.
What could the UK’s route be to becoming Nature Positive, whilst also contributing to meeting Net Zero commitments here in the UK?
Speaker: Pete Brotherton is Director of Science and Climate Change at NaturalEngland, the Diocesan Environment Officer for Peterborough Diocese, and honorary Lay Canon of Peterborough Cathedral. BOOK HERE