PLANTS & ANIMALS
St Giles Churchyard is home to a wide range of plants and animals
We are lucky enough to have lots of mature trees in the Churchyard including Horse Chestnuts, Sycamore, Cherry, and a Millenium Yew.
Coming soon: our Tree Who's Who Map
Some of the really big trees are coming towards the end of their lives and have had to be made safe by removing the branches. The trunk, called a 'monolith' is left behind as it has great conservational value and is a habitat for species which depend on decaying wood.
OUR TREE PLANTING PROGRAMME
We're working on a tree planting initiative for winter 2021. We hope to plant around 12 new trees in the Churchyard around National Tree Week and are identifying the best species, locations and of course funding. We're liaising with SaveOurStreetTrees Northampton.
THE CARRION CROW [Corvus corone]
Two flocks of crows can often be seen in the Churchyard - one with around 15 birds and the other with around 25. All black and medium sized, Crows are clever and adaptable but also wary.
They eat carrion, insects, worms, seets, fruit, eggs and scraps.
ROCK DOVE/FERAL PIGEON [Columba livia]
Feral pigeons come in all shades of blue, grey, cinnamon brown, or white with pink/purple necks. Pigeons thrive in urban environments, and in the Churchyard they like to roost in the mullions of the east windows of the church. They eat seeds and cereals.
What other birds have you seen in the Churchyard?
We hope to work with the RSPB to install Swift Boxes in the Church to give summer-visiting swifts a place to nest and breed.
Bats can often be seen hunting around the church at dusk in the summer months. We don't know what species they are but we hope to do some work with a bat detector when the weather warms up. Watch this space to find out what we discover!
The Churchyard has a lively population of Grey Squirrels [Sciurus carolinensis] which are not native to the UK - they were introduced from America in the 1870s.
The squirrels live in nests made of twigs and leaves called dreys high up in the trees, where they may have two litters of three or four kittens each year.
The Churchyard squirrels are used to being fed and some will come running when they hear the rustle of a plastic bag.
Squirrels are ominvores, they mainly eat fungi, seeds, nuts and fruits but they will also eat insects, eggs and small animals. They bury food in preparation for winter - if you live nearby and you find peanuts in your plant pots, this is who did it.