Wildlife in the Cemetery
Because of its secluded location and abundance of trees and grasses, Rectory Lane Cemetery is a haven for wildlife in the middle of Berkhamsted town. Many species of wild birds, mammal and insects can be easily seen. Here are some of the species you may see, depending on the time of year.
The male chaffinch is a distinctive pink and grey bird with a blue-grey cap and rust-red underparts and black and white wings. The female has similar markings but is much duller. In spring and early summer, the male chaffinch’s song is one of the most enchanting and easily recognisable birdsongs in Britain, with repeating bursts of rapid twittering.
This large, magnificent bird of prey can be recognised by its distinctive forked tail, black and white angled wings and red plumage underneath. With a wingspan of nearly 2 metres, this is one of Britain’s largest birds.
Kites were extinct in England but were re-introduced in 1989 the RSPB and the Nature Conservancy Council. You can often spot a red kite hovering high over Rectory Lane Cemetery, probably hunting a tasty field mouse!
The hawfinch is Britain’s largest finch. It is a shy bird, and only rarely seen as its numbers have declined in recent years, although they have been spotted recently in Rectory Lane Cemetery. Hawfinches have similar grey-pink plumage to a chaffinch but are much bigger. If you are lucky enough to see one, you can recognise it by its large, powerful bill.