Church of England takes stock of its trees

David Shreeve, environmental adviser to the Archbishops' Council says churchyards might have yews, ash, chestnuts, elms and oaks that could provide secrets to fighting pests and diseases.

Shreeve said: "If you’ve a variety of elm for example, which has not been affected by disease, perhaps there is something special about them that make them resistant," he explains. "Churchyards may be the Noah’s Ark for trees." 

Two free churchyard trees conferences supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund are being held this autumn. They are aimed at archdeacons, clergy, churchwardens, DAC Secretaries and Diocesan Environment Officers, friends groups, tree officers and all those involved in the care of churchyard trees. They will promote greater awareness of the importance of churchyard trees and encourage maintenance, future growth and interpretation with the support of the community.  

The conferences will be held in Liverpool Cathedral on 6 October 2016 and St John’s Waterloo on 2 Nov 2016 and feature churchyard and arboriculture experts who will discuss the support and management churches can use to protect the future of churchyard trees.  

Both events are being organised by The Conservation Foundation in association with the Church of England’s Environmental Working Group, Mission and Public Affairs, Cathedrals and Church Buildings along with Caring for God’s Acre and The Charter for Trees, Woods and People.


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