Natural burial ground judged best again

CLANDON Wood has been named the Best Natural Burial Ground in the UK at the 2020 Cemetery of the Year Awards.

“It is a delight to win this award as it truly endorses the concept of Clandon Wood to bring together nature and the cycle of life in a tranquil environment where one can be laid to rest whatever your faith, belief or thinking and at the same time to provide an abundant and beautiful nature reserve for all to benefit from,” said Simon Ferrar, the cemetery’s founder.

Pictured left to right: head groundsman Gareth Herd, operations manager Christina Lawson, Clandon Wood founder Simon Ferrar and ecology groundsman Matt Phelps.

It is the second year in a row Clandon Wood has won the gold award, following similar success in 2019, and the fifth national award it has received as a natural burial ground , winning previous awards in 2014 and 2015.

“It is most heartening for the team to have received this award, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic which has brought a whole range of unique circumstances we have had to adapt to and work around ,” said operations manager Christina Lawson.

“Being able to take advantage of our beautiful natural setting with outdoor services has made a tremendous difference to many final farewells and has also allowed us to have up to 30 people in attendance, which has been a real blessing for many bereaved families in these very challenging times.”

The title was been awarded by the Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) which has been organising the awards for nearly 20 years, judging natural burial grounds on categories such as industry standards, environmental issues and good practice.

“The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role natural burial grounds can play in the community,” said Philiip Potts of MAB. “They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their ecological importance.”

Located in West Clandon and covering 31 acres, Clandon Wood has been designed and operated as a nature reserve – run by a qualified team with expertise in conservation and arboriculture – as well as a burial ground, which can provide a farewell service, burial and catered gathering after the committal if required.

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