We are really pleased to welcome a guest blog from Lizzie Edgerton, a humanist celebrant. She is not far from Hundy Mundy our woodland burial ground in the Scottish borders and has shared a wonderful blog touching on her some of her own experiences and organising a fitting tribute and funeral to someone you've lost. We would recommend taking 5 minutes out, with a cuppa in hand to read this very insightful blog.
Toads are a fantastic part of our ecosystem, they are nature's answer to pesticides. With one toad eating as many as 100 aphids and slugs a night they are wonderful plant protectors. Sadly their numbers are declining largely due to a loss of habitat. Therefore it's not surprising that we are finding toads, frogs and other reptiles in 'alternative' homes such as grow bags.
When Sarah realised she had quite a few toads in her garden she was pleased. This is because it shows they are an active part of the Pembrokeshire wildlife. In fact, one of her projects at Pembrokeshire Natural Burials is to restore the wetland. This should help support amphibians and reptiles in need of a native habitat. Finding 3 toads in one night is a good indicator the wetland, once restored, will have a positive impact on the population. Unfortunately, by the time she realised one of her toads had made his home in her grow bag, it was too late to save his home. This inspired her to find a way to offer him a safe place where he could live undisturbed.
Walking the meadow at Dorset Downs it may be hard to believe the wildflower-rich pasture used to be arable land. The arable cultivation during world war two was significant in Dorset. So much so that restoring locally distinctive landscape has become a key priority within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is wonderful that the natural burial ground has supported this. Helping to return it to the way it used to be before the last drive for food. However, nearby you will come across fields used for arable farming. This is because the Natural Burial Ground is part of a larger farm venture. Arable farming is a key part of our food resources and as with everything in nature it is about finding a balance.
The burial ground has allowed the landowners to follow a path of 'greener pastures'. But new techniques are also enabling them to follow a path of greener farming practices. One of these you can see in the maize fields surrounding the natural burial ground, planting under a film.
Recently, we have been exploring the impact of scattering ashes.
Scattering ashes in meaningful areas has become very popular. This is due to the rise in cremation and the fact we want the people we love to be somewhere special. If there is a place you shared special memories this may seem like the perfect idea. However, we need to realise that scattering ashes can harm surrounding habitats.
We have seen the impact ashes have had on some of our woodland, native wildlife and wildflowers. It was one of the reasons we decided we needed to find environmentally friendly ways to scatter ashes. This doesn’t mean we can't scatter ashes, but there are things we need to consider.
You can find our latest Covid 19 guidance for visitors and funerals here.
Not everyone is into flowers or wants to have cut flowers at a funeral. It has become a tradition and for some is a meaningful way they can remember the person special to them. Yet, it isn’t something families should feel they have to do. There are many wonderful ways to celebrate the people we love. Having a ‘physical’ tribute’ at a funeral is one of these, but there are other ideas you may want to consider.
There are so many decisions to make when planning a funeral. Burial or cremation? Environmentally friendly or traditional? No-fuss or full-on celebration? Which coffin to choose?
As we only use eco-friendly coffins at our natural burial grounds, we thought it might be helpful to share the eco-friendly coffins that are available to help with this decision.
Spring is here and with the arrival of lambs and wildflowers we are definitely feeling it and are on, 'spring watch'. We are celebrating the start of spring, also known as the spring equinox by sharing a blog on the wildlife and wildflowers you may find when visiting the natural burial grounds.
Current events have made many of us think about what we want to happen when we die. Here at Leedam it has got us thinking about our own wishes and funeral arrangements, and how we can let those we love know what is important to us in a simple way.
'For When I die...' is a list of prompts that we hope will enable people to write down what is important for others to know when they die. We wanted to produce something as an antidote to the commercial funeral plans that are pushed at us on TV and social media. The 'For when I die...' document is entirely free and completely yours to use to share your wishes with the people closest to you.
Producing it got me thinking too; so I wrote down what I feel is important for me when I die. When I discussed it with my daughter, Rhi, she suggested that I should share it as a blog to introduce the concept. So here it is...
In 2020 Leedam (Native Woodland Ltd) and our natural burial grounds, had the honour of winning a Green Apple Award 'For Environmental Best Practice Sustainable Development Green Champion'. As March signals the start of spring and a time where everything is becoming green, we thought it would be the perfect time to share this news.
We were honoured to have won a Green Apple Environment Award for our environmental practices and sustainable development. You can read more about Leedam and our natural burial grounds in the essay we submitted.
Stories and thoughts from the Leedam camp.
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