Last week I went to a meeting at Greyfriars Kirk, one of the most historic churches in Edinburgh, famous for being the burial place of Greyfriars Bobby. The church wants to re-establish its herb garden and make the churchyard a more welcoming place for wildlife and people. As we stood outside there were birds fluttering in the branches above our heads (robins, blue tits, coal tits and chaffinches) and on the grass (a pied wagtail, magpies and a rather bemused looking oystercatcher) so obviously the church has a good start on attracting wildlife! As for people, the churchyard is a popular place for people to wander round, though when i visited it, several of the paths were covered in black ice which restricted things somewhat. The plan is to plant more native plant species, put up more bird boxes and to involve the local community in maintaining the space.
Greyfriars Kirk also operates GROW (Greyfriars Recycling of Wood) a wonderful project that recycles wood from old church pews to make furniture (both for the house and the garden) and bird boxes. The goods are made by people who have faced complex issues in their lives, such as homelessness and addiction, and helps them develop skills.