Bega cemetery event to document flora and fauna

Bega Valley Shire Council and Atlas of Life are pleased to present the next Life in our Cemeteries event at the Bega cemetery on Saturday 11 March from 11am to 3pm.

Council’s Environmental Management Officer, Erin Moon said this is an opportunity for community members to visit our cemeteries to document the plants and wildlife that live in and around them.

“We had a great gathering at our event in October last year, exploring the unique flora, fauna and local histories at the Wonboyn cemetery,” Ms Moon said.

“We hope to see similar interest and involvement by the local community in our Bega cemetery event.

“Citizen science programs like this help to inform the future management of our shire’s cemeteries, through identifying the biodiversity at the site and detecting any changes that may require a modification in management.

“It’s also a unique way for participants to connect with nature and each other.”

Chairperson of Atlas of Life, Raymond Daly said everyone who joins the event will explore this fascinating place and can document what they find on the iNaturalist app, so the identity of the plant, insect or animal can be confirmed.

“Botanist, Jackie Miles and invertebrate expert, Deb Taylor will both lead a walk and talk and Potaroo Palace’s Anna Lindstrand will speak about wildlife rescue,” Mr Daly said.

“Local historian, Fiona Firth will speak on the history of the cemetery, showing participants how to ‘read the cemetery’ and unlock interesting local stories.”

Fiona will lead two history walk and talks, covering the extensive history of the Bega cemetery which she researched for a project while doing a Graduate Diploma in History from University of New England.

“Cemeteries create a place where people can go to remember their loved ones. The memorials they create say this person lived and died and they were important to me,” Ms Firth said.

“While the current Bega Cemetery is not the first Bega Cemetery, we can see a range of monuments here from very elaborate Victorian style to very small ones during the mid-20th century, back to much more elaborate recent ones.

“From the epitaphs on the graves, we can see how beliefs about an afterlife have changed over the last 120 years.”

A light lunch will also be provided.

Atlas of Life assures the community that full care and respect for the cemetery and those interred will be maintained during this event.

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