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Limpenhoe St. Botolph.
Grid reference: TG 395 040.
Habitats: Lowland grassland.
Main conservation interest: Meadow flora.
Conservation status: Included in the NWT Churchyard Conservation Scheme.
Management: In the care of Limpenhoe PCC, managed by BADCOG since 1992.
Location: Limpenhoe church is located in the middle of this small hamlet 1.5 km to the southeast of Southwood Church.
Parking: A large grass car park is located to the east of the church.
The entire churchyard at Limpenhoe is managed as a conservation area, with the exception of the paths cut around the church, some of the tended graves and a long narrow strip at the edge of the large area adjacent to the main yard.
There are a range of meadow species scattered at the front and rear of the church building, including lady’s bedstraw, ox-eye daisy, field scabious, common knapweed and germander, with fine grasses such as yellow oat-grass and sweet vernal widespread. There are also small quantities of field woodrush close to the edge of the mown path both on front of and at the side of the church. Both present in 1993, the latest survey could find no evidence of burnet saxifrage nor common calamint.
The richest area of the yard is to the rear, close to the church building, Here the sward is much more open and fine-textured and species such as lady’s bedstraw are doing well. In much of the rest of the yard, there are extensive areas dominated by course grasses and broad-leave species such as cow parley.
The main part of the churchyard (an area approximately 37m X 12m to the south of the church building) in cut and cleared by BADCOG in the late summer, normally as a supplementary work-party during the working week. This annual mowing regime has had a small impact on improving the area, allowing the more delicate wildflowers to flourish. A recent Churchyard Conservation Scheme survey recommends mowing more frequently to improve the site further.
The recommendations are to cut:
• In late March/early April, with blades set as high as possible.
• In late summer (Late July/early August).
• In late September/October.
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