St Lawrence Churchyard
is a designated
Kent Local Wildlife Site
TM37 – St Lawrence’s Churchyard, Mereworth Page 1 of 1
Kent Local Wildlife Site Schedule
© Kent Wildlife Trust
KENT LOCAL WILDLIFE SITE DRAFT UPDATE KWT File No: 660537
Site Name: St Lawrence’s Churchyard, Mereworth
Site Ref. No: TM 37
LPA: Tonbridge and Malling
Central Grid Ref: TQ 660537
Category: Grassland, walls, tombs
Owner: Church of England
Natural Area: Wealden Greensand
Area: 0.79 ha
Date first notified: 1989
TPO: In a Conservation Area
Dates revised: 2005, Sept 2017
Landscape Character Area: Greensand Fruit Belt - Wateringbury
Date last approved:
REASON FOR DESIGNATION
A churchyard rich in lower plants with over 100 lichen species recorded and 29 bryophytes. Churches with such a high number of lichen species are also important nationally.
RATIONALE FOR SITE BOUNDARY
The site boundary follows the boundary of the churchyard.
The churchyard is large and open. It is in a fairly exposed position, on ground which slopes down to the south.
The church and churchyard walls are composed of slightly base-rich ragstone and strongly acid sandstone. The tombs include both acid and calcareous vertical and chest tombs. These varied rock surfaces provide a variety of niches and consequently support a varied lichen flora. 100+ species have been recorded recently including several uncommon species. The nationally scarce Xanthoparmelia delisei occurs on a vertical tomb.
A number of corticolous lichens are present on the broadleaved trees and add to the total.
The unimproved dry neutral/slightly acid grassland holds a variety of forbs and grasses including cowslip Primula veris, burnet-saxifrage Pimpinella saxifraga, common knapweed Centaurea nigra, common sorrel Rumex acetosa and oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare.
A good range of common grassland fungi includes several waxcap species which are indicative of unimproved grassland.
Bryophytes such as Tortula intermedia (Syntrichia intermedia), Homalothecium sericeum and Orthotrichum anomalum Orthotrichum diaphanum are common on the tomb and churchyard wall tops. Corticolous bryophytes include Orthotrichum affine, Ulota crispa and Cryphaea heteromalla. Other species are present in the grassland and under the trees and hedgerows.
Good numbers of invertebrates have been recorded including grasshoppers and common Lepidoptera. Common lizard 1, 2, 3, 4 has been recorded on the site.
1 Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 2 Kent Red Data Book Status 1. A. Waite (Ed) 2000.
3 S.41 species NERC Act 2006. 4 UK BAP Priority Species as identified by the JNCC.