That Thing We Don’t Want To Talk About
Spending our lives buying the greenest items we can find, always felt a little pointless to me if I couldn’t find a way to remain ‘green’ when I died. It was a moment of pure joy, when on my small Midlands high street, a new business called Woodland Burial Company opened. I quickly made an appointment and spent one of the most interesting hours of my life; listening to Simon tell me all about Granville’s Wood and the most sustainable options at the end of life.
Talking about Wills, Death and Funerals isn’t easy, but it is important. If we don’t take opportunities to express our wishes, people will make decisions on our behalf that may not fit our values. By having a family nook ourselves now in Granville’s Wood, we are creating a space and habitat all of our own. We will visit and enjoy it for (hopefully) many years before we are buried there.
You can read more about the environmental problems caused by traditional cremated ashes and burials, and the solution at www.rtnsoil.com.
Twists and Turns
I remained in touch with Simon, and wrote an article about woodland burial and end of life decision making. As a lecturer I added the information to my courses about Coping with Loss; there is a clear link between being in nature and finding moments of peace in grief.
What I didn’t expect was to need Woodland Burial Company so quickly. When our young son died last Summer, it was the only easy decision in all the awful things we had to do. The small team offer such personal and sensitive service, everyone on the team has a loved one of their own at Granville’s Wood and you always deal with the same person. There are no hidden or additional costs and they take care of whatever kind of funeral you would like without judgement.
The highest praise I can give, is that I trusted them to take care of my son. Thanks to donations from family and friends, our nook has slowly developed and changed. It now has a bat box, owl box, log pile and a bench. We spend many hours there, our other children enjoy the open space and have their own willow den. We have learned a lot about the flora, fauna and wildlife.
Over time we got more involved in projects at Granville’s Wood, and being a creative person my mind kept coming up with ideas… which I would email to Simon. I imagine I was quite irritating!
It became clear to Simon that the team needed to grow, someone was needed full time at the Woods for maintenance, showing people around and creating the nooks, someone else needed to answer phone calls and I was asked to join the team and manage the growth we are hoping for. Sharing the message of sustainable options and benefits in death.
I was humbled to be asked, and am loving taking care of my beautiful boy as part of my job.
What We Do
Woodland Burial Company offer tree memorials, ashes scattering, ashes internment or full burials. A family nook allows for up to 5 burials. In addition to the ‘tough stuff’ you can also add items to your area that are to support those visiting, like a bench or bird feeding station. All of the nooks are bespoke, and you walk around the woods with our Site Manager until you have a moment. For me it was a certain oak tree, and that is the middle of our nook.
The Woods are protected for 199 years and will then move to the further protection of the Woodland Burial Trust, they will never be moved or built upon. Your nook is yours forever, no extra maintenance or renewal fees will ever be charged. You can visit at any time, 365 days a year. Granville’s Wood is 8.5 acres, set within the 115 acres of Walton Woods in Chesterfield.
We have recently been awarded the full four stars from Support the Goals – for our alignment to the Sustainable Development Goals in our environmental work, restoring the woods from their prior commercial use. Our terms and conditions mean that the natural balance of the Woods are maintained and enhanced and our nook owners join a community both in the Woods and online – allowing us to share support and projects. We have a quarterly newsletter with updates and images which helps those who aren’t able to visit regularly keep in touch.
To find out more about what we do feel free to call us on 0115 939 9030 or visit the website at www.woodlandburialcompany.com. For those further afield who are interested in the environmental impact of burial and cremation, but not able to come and see us, Woodland Burial Company have shared their expertise and experience with a new start up offering the ‘magic soil’ for use at home. You can discover their products at www.livingmemorial.co.uk.