Reducing the impact on the planet through the careful management of energy resources and habitats, should be part of a parish’s overall management strategy. This could be doing things like implementing renewable energy systems (eg. solar panels or ground source heat pumps), recycling used materials or encouraging wildlife diversity in churchyards by protecting endangered species like bats, slow worms or lichens. Information on all of these topics can be found in this section.
There is no reason why renewable energy systems such as solar & photovoltaic panels, heat pumps, biomass boilers, etc, cannot be installed in historic buildings and churches. However, care must be taken to properly assess what the impact of these systems will be on the historic fabric of the building, its character and setting. Click on the link below to download a Cadw guide on this subject: Renewable Energy and your Historic Building
Energy saving measures do not have to be implemented on a large scale. Many small simple changes can be made on a day to day basis that can help reduce the environmental impact of our activities and thus make energy and cost savings. Read the Parish Green Guide to find out more.
This website provides some useful tools and resources for churches to assess their current environmental impact and improve it. Parishes can take an online survey that enables them to record their progress and plan future initiatives or download a copy of the Eco Survey. There is also a range of resources offering advice on how to help reduce the environmental impact of the church and its users on the Eco Survey web page.
Churchyard Habitats Management
The Caring for God’s Acre (CFGA) charity produces a Churchyard and Burial Ground Action Pack which contains a wealth of information to help with the sensitive management of churchyards, cemeteries and burial grounds. It contains guidelines on the management of wildlife habitats such as grassland and trees, and features such as lychgates, boundary walls and old stonework. It also includes information on how to involve others and how to make use of these places for learning and community activity.
Bats are a protected species and it is illegal to kill them or disturb their roosts. If you need advice about bats, contact Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000 or visit their website (see link below). Further guidance can be found in the Natural England guide Managing Bats in Churches.
Managing Bats in Churches
Natural Resources Wales – Bat Guidance
The Church in Wales has called on dioceses and ministry areas to take action on climate change, and for this to be supported by Wales-wide action. Further details can be found on the Climate Change web pages.