VOLUNTEERS with EuCAN Milverton Conservation Group joined forces with villagers from Tolland to give their churchyard its end of summer cut.

For some years, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has allowed parts of Tolland churchyard to remain un-mown to encourage wild flowers and butterflies.

However, to stimulate new growth in following years the long grass has to be cut in late summer and removed. As the PCC does not have the resources to do this, it engaged the help of the local conservation group from Milverton.

Sixteen villagers and volunteers with brush-cutters and a scythe worked hard to mow and remove the cut grass so that the whole churchyard was cleared by mid-afternoon. The volunteers were also able to clean graves and even empty a manhole of foul smelling sludge!

Their stamina was kept up by cakes baked by a neighbour and copious cups of tea and coffee supplied by the PCC.

Afterwards the church was ready to welcome its first service since lockdown which was held outside to comply with current guidance.

Churchwarden Linda Lloyd said: “We are enormously grateful to the EuCAN volunteers for stepping in and doing such a brilliant job. This year the churchyard was a real picture with many wildflowers and buzzing insects and we are planning to do the same again next year.”

EuCAN (The European Conservation Action Network) was established in 2011 and organises conservation volunteering in the UK and Europe.

The Milverton group was set up by residents Trevor Phelps and Gwil Wren to conserve areas in and around Milverton to encourage all forms of wild life.

It works on various local sites including Clatworthy Reservoir and holds regular events such as its successful nest box building days.