Parishioners and the parish priest of St Mary Immaculate, Whittingham were distressed to hear that since a new wheelchair ramp had been built outside the church, it was regularly claiming the lives of many birds, mostly blackbirds, starlings and smaller birds of prey, which were flying at speed directly into its glass walls.

When parishioners arrived to find that the latest ‘victim’ was a peregrine falcon, they came up with a novel and creative solution to make the unused ramp more visible to birds swooping past the building.

Armed only with a pair of secateurs, one parishioner found the answer lay in a large fallen conifer – one of around 40 trees in the church’s grounds destroyed in last year’s Storm Arwen.

Although the tree was on the ground, the ends of most of the branches were still green and their fronds were easily cut and placed over the glass plates.

These pictures tell the story:

The problem was ‘clear’…

…the solution was ‘green’!

Parish Priest Fr David Phillips and the Parish Secretary report no further casualties since!

Many thanks to the Parish Priest and Parishioners at St Mary Immaculate, Whittingham, for sharing this story of re-using and re-purposing to make their church wildlife-friendly!

If your parish, school or group comes up with ideas and initiatives, big or small, to become more environmentally aware, PLEASE let us know by emailing Minnie Fraser at, so your stories and images can inspire others across the Diocese and beyond!


This article was originally published by the Diocese of Leeds on 9 November 2022.