The Churchyard and New Cemetery

Main Churchyard

A tranquil area around an ancient building.

Ground is very rarely disturbed, areas left unmown during the summer.

Surrounded by stone walls covered in lichen, as are many of the gravestones.

Old Sycamore

“The great sycamore (acer pseudoplatanus) was probably planted as a group of three young saplings around 1700, at a time when it was horticulturally fashionable (if that is the right description) to experiment with growing huge trees by planting them in small groups to grow together (there are other examples in Windsor Great Park). Over the succeeding decades and centuries the three young saplings grew up and merged into a single trunk, slowly becoming one tree (if you look at the remaining trunk you can see how the signs of this process remain).

“That tree probably reached its maturity at the end of the eighteenth century and remained a significant landmark in the village (and was almost certainly the largest tree in Oxfordshire, if not the south of England) for another 200 years until the early years of this twenty-first century, when it first showed signs of dying back.

“The tree was extensively pruned, cutback and dead limbs removed in 2007-8 but by 2011 it was clearly dying and by 2012 the last flicker of life in the form of a green shoot had gone. Later in that year the limbs were cut down and the logs removed, leaving the enormous stump that remains as a landmark.

Snowdrop Sunday


Wild bees

Foxes and muntjac deer pass through and there are probably several small mammals living there. Invertebrates are supported by the flora but the range of butterflies is limited.

Rowan and crab apple provides food for redwings and perching sites for goldfinches and other songbirds.

Full survey needs to be undertaken.

New Cemetery

Separated from the main churchyard by the driveway to the /rectory and Canterbury House (the former Rectory). Drive bordered by a yew hedge, ideal for goldcrests.

Note line of trees; what species?

Ground disturbed every time there is a burial. Moles also disturb the ground when creating their runs. Healthy population of voles and other small mammals, so frequently visited by foxes.

Good companion with one fox one evening.

Muntjac wanders through and browses on the vegetation.

Blackbirds, crows, wrens, robins, etc.