RISBY ECO CHURCH
Risbees Flight Corridor Spring 2023
St. Giles Church is Risby is a Silver Award Winning Eco Church in the heart of the village. Eco Church is an award scheme set up by A Rocha UK for churches in England and Wales. They are a Christian charity, involved in nature conservation, that’s the protection as well as restoration.
Risby Eco Church’s aim is to facilitate a bee flight corridor in Risby, as part of the Barrow Benefice. This would also benefit many other insect pollinators.
There’s another reason for encouraging the insect population and that is the decline in Swifts (birds that are now on the red list). Besides habitats, one of the changes in animal populations is food source. And Swifts feed on winged-insects. The Barrow benefice is supporting Swifts by installing Swift boxes at Barrow and Risby churches and schools.
So as part of Risby Eco Church’s bid for a Gold Award, it is our ambition to develop with our communities, gardens that support pollinators and other insects.
Create a plant index and map of Risby gardens, verges, 11 meadow areas.
Door to door survey identifying plants using a standard list. Note due to data protection, resident will not be identified. The village will be mapped using a numbers/ traffic light system. Ranging from 1-5
Change residents’ perceptions on plants by encouraging them to make choices that are more pollinator-friendly. Plant list provided for seasons and various bee species.
Survey following year to measure and review.
The goal is to have a bee flight corridor running from spring 2023/24.
Fifteen volunteers keep Risby tidy, communicating through the Risby Facebook page. This is a friendly, informal group and an offshoot of the Wildlife Friendly Village initiative. Members are issued with high-viz vests, litter-pickers, gloves and sacks and encouraged to read the health and safety/insurance advice.
We enjoy the support of the following organisations:
Parish Council (risk assessment/insurance)
Village Hall Trust (equipment and use of bin)
West Suffolk Council (waste bags)
Risby Barns (equipment donation)
Coopers Cabin (use of bins)
Risby Truck Stop (use of bins)
The work of the group has been noticed and praised by villagers. We have dealt with historic waste (cans/fast-food packaging/bottles) in verges and ditches and fly tipping along the Cavenham Road. Road signs, bus-shelters, the de-fib cabin and noticeboards have been cleaned. In April 2021 three Rangers appeared on Jon Wright’s BBC Radio Suffolk phone-in. As the group grows, the village becomes tidier and the task less onerous.