Beverley Minster’s Secret Garden receives the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Gardening Award 2024

On Sunday 9 June Judy Smith together with Jude Coates and Marilyn Mooney (pictured above) were presented with a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Wildlife Gardening Award for 2024 at the 11.00 service. Judy says “We all feel quite blessed to work in the garden, we enjoy having visitors which makes all the hard work worthwhile. The award is a bonus.”

The Secret Garden has been managed by Judy and her team for a number of years with a regard to enhancing wildlife habitats.

The Eco Church group applied for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s annual wildlife gardening award which we have just been awarded. This involves having at least 10 wildlife enhancing features with 2 from each of 5 categories in the garden . The categories being food, shelter, water, management and connectivity, examples in each category include:

  • Food. We have bird feeders, native fruit trees, herbs, flowering plants for insects throughout the year
  • Shelter.  Dead wood/log piles, stone pile, bird boxes, hedgehog house, homes for solitary bees, hedgerow
  • Water.  Bird bath, waterbutts
  • Management. No pesticides/herbicides or slug pellets, compost bins, recycle materials eg plant pot out of old wellington boot
  • Connectivity. Mixed hedgerow on boundary, hedgehog highway ,helping others grow wilder by having the garden open to other groups.

The Secret garden will be open on Sunday 30 June as part of the National open garden scheme, please consider coming to that event.

Here we will promote Wildlife Gardening, with ideas to encourage us all to make our own gardens wilder and to perhaps apply for your own wildlife gardening award!

REPORT of recent events


Minster Joint Litter Pick with the Wombles of Beverley

On Saturday 8 June 23 people from the Minster and the Wombles of Beverley did a joint litter pick, in the course of 90 minutes 18 bags of litter were collected in and around central Beverley. It was an enjoyable and sociable morning and the Beverley Eco church group expressed their thanks to Paul Coe from the Wombles for help in organising and providing equipment for the event.

Green Walk

On Sunday afternoon a small group and one dog did a 5.5 mile walk from the Minster over the Westwood to Broadgates and back via Butt Farm. It was an enjoyable walk and we learnt about dry valleys and chalk springs as we walked. The walk finished with refreshments and delicious rock cakes!

Greener Eating

Tim O’Brien gave an interesting and challenging talk on greener eating and we were surprised at the different carbon footprint of various foods. We also heard a bit about restorative farming and there was a good opportunity to ask questions – Thanks to Toll Gavel church for hosting this event.

Sunday 30 June  10.30 – 16.30

Three Beverley gardens open, including the Minster’s Secret Garden.

Combined entry: Adults £8, children free.

Beverley Minster received the A ROCHA Bronze award in 2022 and is now working to gain the Silver award.

Here are their Eco tips for 2024.

A Rocha UK’s Easy Eco Tips 2024 Calendar


Join #30DaysWild. One of A Rocha UK’s firm beliefs is that we are more likely to nurture and defend God’s creation if we spend time enjoying it. The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge is a great opportunity to engage with nature as an individual, household, or with your church community throughout June. Find some wild ideas at


“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.”

Psalm 42, v.1

Beverley Minster’s Eco Creed

  • We believe that God made the world and “it was good”.
  • We share in his creativity as caretakers of his beautiful creation on behalf of the generations to come.
  • We acknowledge, though, that through negligence and greed we have damaged and destroyed much of the planet.
  • We believe that climate change is happening now and that it impacts in particular the poorest and most vulnerable who contribute least to global emissions.
  • We believe that we need to repent, to change the way we live and rediscover our calling to care for the whole of creation.
  • We are committed to help the Church of England to achieve its declared aim of being carbon neutral by 2030 and to increase our awareness and appreciation of the environment.

To guide us we are using an environmental audit looking at 5 areas of church life prepared by the Christian charity A Rocha UK that offers bronze, silver and gold awards.

Open each section below to find out about our Eco creed

Beverley Minster and the Clergy are committed to incorporating care for God’s creation into worship and teaching. The church has several services a year focusing on creation, God’s bounteous provision for us, and our responsibility for caring for God’s world. The Crossing service worships outside in the Secret Garden (weather permitting). The Quiet Garden is set aside for private prayer and contemplation as well as being used on occasion for home groups to meet.

Beverley Minster is responsible for several areas of land which we are looking to use to maximise biodiversity and appreciation and engagement with God’s creation.

The church yard is open each day during daylight hours when the Minster is open. It is now closed for burials and is maintained by the East Riding council. This area has snowdrops, aconites, daffodils and buddleia in season. Through National Heritage Lottery Funding the Sanctuary Project has created a wild flower area with planters for herbs and seating to enable enjoyment of the space. This area is accessible from the church yard entrance and from the Minster itself when weather permits.

The Secret Garden, the Quiet Garden and a strip of land adjacent to the parish hall are all managed by volunteers. The Secret Garden is part of the Vicarage but is available for church use. This area has a wildlife pond, hedgehog house, log piles for mini-beasts and bird feeders as well as fruit trees, flower borders, vegetable patch and a compost heap. Flowers from the garden are used in the church.The Crossing Service takes place here on Sundays weather permitting. Frogs, hedgehogs, numerous birds and the occasional fox frequent the Secret Garden.

The Quiet garden, next to the parish centre, is used for private prayer and contemplation and house groups from time to time. The Quiet Garden is part of The Quiet Garden Movement.

Beverley Minster congregation wish to become more environmentally friendly. To help and encourage this on an individual level we are promoting lifestyle ways to do this. We are promoting the Climate Heroes survey which determines an individual’s carbon footprint and advice on how to reduce the footprint where possible. We recognise change is difficult, but we believe each small step can make a big difference when we add our individual steps together, whether it be a reduction in car use, heating, plastic use, litter picking or creating space for nature.

The Church of England has declared a climate emergency and aims to be zero carbon by 2030. We are committed to help with achieving this. Our buildings include the Minster, Parish Hall, Peter Harrison Room and the Parish Centre. We are formulating a delivery plan to achieve carbon zero. We realise that this will need community engagement and financial investment requiring funds to be raised. The Church does an annual energy return to determine our energy footprint which is rated A++ to G. Our footprint will help us to formulate the delivery plan. We are currently looking at all our energy consuming systems with a view to reducing our fossil energy consumption and to bring them all within an affordable envelope.

Being an Eco church is more than looking after the Minster buildings and land in an environmentally friendly way although this is a key component. It involves every area of our church lives, including how we engage with our local community and the wilder world. Our actions speak louder than words in caring for God’s creation. To facilitate this we are working through Beverley Churches Together to encourage collective working on issues of climate change and other environmental issues. We have met with East Riding Council and are fostering links with them for the benefit of the environment. We have arranged a joint meeting in September to learn about the council’s eco initiatives. We are also contacting non-church groups to encourage a positive impact on the environment. We are also trying to learn from our Christian partners around the world about the impact of climate change and other environmental issues affecting them.

We are also reviewing the cleaning products and other items used in the Minster for their Eco credentials and where possible attempting swaps to more eco-friendly alternatives.