Press Release: The Magical World of Mosses – Giggleswick Churchyard – Yorks Dales


4 February 2013


What would draw 22 people to a churchyard on a sunny frosty February
Day? To Giggleswick churchyard, near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales on Sat 2 February 2013

Answer: The opportunity to attend a workshop to learn how to identify a handful of the tiny green plants which clothe the walls, trees, grassland and soil of this ancient churchyard. This was a workshop (the poster said) for beginners.

Dr Judith Allinson of Langcliffe had organised the workshop and was
assisted by Dr Mike Canaway of Giggleswick (both members of the British Bryological Society – BBS) for Craven Conservation Group (the local wildlife group), for members of the church and for anyone in the public interested.

To simplify the teaching, Judith had made large paper models – 100 times as big as the actual mosses – of species such as Springy Turf Moss and Great Hairy Screw-Moss. . Participants learned the correct way to hold a hand lens so that the beauty – the colour – the shapes – of these tiny mosses and liverworts can be seen. The group learned about Moss and Liverwort Structure in the comfort of the church (Coffee provided). Judith has made a booklet for the event “Mosses of Giggleswick Churchyard” which will be put on sale for £4-00 (colour) (£2-00 B&W) in the church.

Judith and Mike have so far found 38 different species of Moss and Liverwort in the church yard and have sent the records to the national recorder of the BBS

Priest-in-charge Revd Hilary Young, who attended the first half of the workshop said:

“I was fascinated to learn how many moss species there are in our churchyard. What a pleasure it was to welcome so many people to our church.”

Judith said

“Mosses are a fascinating group. These Churchyard sessions enable absolute beginners to make a start.”

“I am pleased that the people of this church will appreciate more the importance of nature and value the plants in their churchyard. I hope more churches can run nature appreciation events and wildlife walks. Churchyards can be a wildlife haven.” (Judith is web editor for the national organisation Christian Ecology Link)

As Psalm 24 says:- “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. If
we care for someone we care for what belongs to them. By appreciating
plants in churchyards we are caring for a little part of God’s world.

Judith is running a similar workshop on 23rd February at 10am at
Ingleton Church (in the Yorkshire Dales, 18 miles form Lancaster). There will be a charge of £5-00 per person to cover costs. Booking is necessary 01729 822138. This is open to the public, including people in wheelchairs and people who cannot walk far.


More details and pictures of the event can be seen at

Useful Websites:-
Christian Ecology Link:
Craven Conservation Group:
British Bryological Society:
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Churchyards Project:



Author: Editor 1 | Date: 4 February, 2013 | Category: Media Release | Comments: 0

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