This is what communities can do
In 2020, St Peter’s church yard was a different place. 6ft high brambles and rhododendrons grew thick across the site, obscuring graves and pathways and creating hollows for criminal dens, drug abuse and violence in the dark of night.
Jane, the Church Warden at St Peter’s, set about reclaiming the church yard. With support from the Community Lottery, Fresh Start and Sue Dawson from the Dorset Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Urban Green’ project, a community began to build.
The site as you see it today, cleared of brambles, used needles and non-native trees, and spilling over with wildflowers, is the result of the project. And at the beating heart of the work are two groups: local community volunteers and students from The Bournemouth & Poole College.
Over the last two months, storyteller Sam Crosby and filmmaker Gani Naylor collaborated with the groups to speak about their journeys, the challenges they’ve faced and the bonds they’ve formed with one another.
This exhibition is a celebration of these groups. The faces you see here today are just some of the people who have impacted the urban haven St Peter’s church yard has become.
In challenging times, with mounting global crises and social separation, we know deep down that community and connection is the answer. It’s our hope that these stories of human kindness, companionship and renewal will ripple and inspire others to act.
Whether it’s joining a volunteer effort, picking up a trowel or investigating the best way to improve biodiversity in your local area, every community act takes us another step back to that which we value most… Life, love and the natural world we call home.
Together with our 27,000 members, our volunteers and supporters, we are Dorset's largest nature conservation charity. We work to champion wildlife and natural places on our 42 nature reserves and through our work with others.
We align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: