ANCIENT and untended graves in a village churchyard could be renovated to attract more wildlife.

Notices have been placed on some graves in St Mary’s Church, Steeple Ashton, which date back to the first half of the 20th century and are in a poor state of repair.

The church is hoping villagers or groups would like to adopt a plot and maintain it to improve the appearance of the churchyard and encourage wildlife.

Member of the church Rosemary Brett-Green said: “I remember from when I was a child there was a fashion to have a low kerb with pretty stones around the graves. However, the graves have sunk, the concrete in the middle has broken and they are full of weeds.

“As we are working towards becoming an eco-church we are trying to do all things environmentally friendly.

“Some of the graves are untended so it occurred to us that we could do something to encourage wildlife and make the churchyard a nice quiet area for contemplation.

“There are many possibilities as to how these small plots could be used to enhance the churchyard or support wildlife while respecting those that lie there. Families or groups within the village may be interested in adopting such a plot.

“We are giving two months’ notice to the families of the graves but it is hard to track down all of them, so we have also put notices on the graves.

“There is an intent to revitalise these graves with the permission of the families of the deceased. We are eager to hear from family members giving such consent.”

People can leave their responses on a board provided in the church until April 1.