The estimated number of churchyards and chapel yards in the UK stands at more than 20,000, and the average ground coverage of each works out at about one acre (0.4 hectares). The result is approximately 8,000 hectares of green space: a substantial opportunity for nature conservation.
When the Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project (LCCP) was set up in 1985 by English Nature and the Council for the Care of Churches, it became the first scheme to promote the conservation of burial sites in the UK. Managed by Eve Dennis, the project stimulated county Wildlife Trusts to establish their own Living Churchyard projects, some of which still operate to this day. About 15 years later, however, the LCCP came to an end through lack of funding.