Recently we have been updating our stories and wanted to share with you the story behind Cothiemuir Hill Woodland Burial Ground in Aberdeenshire, including how natural burial has been a long part of our history, just in a slightly different way...
Cothiemuir Hill woodland burial lies at the heart of the historic Forbes Estate in the Howe of Alford, Donside, Aberdeenshire. It has a special, historically important place, for thousands of years. Located within the beautiful Strathdon countryside natural, native wildflowers and mushrooms grow around the burial glades, while wildlife and birds inhabit the woodland and surrounding hills which makes it an enchanting place to be.
We started offering natural burial at the woodland burial ground which is part of the Forbes Estate in 2006, with the owner and custodian Malcolm Forbes looking after the woodland burial ground and everyone who has a connection with it. Malcolm lives in the nearby Castle Forbes that for almost six hundred years has been the seat of Premier Lord of Scotland.
While the connection with history is not just that of the castle and estate, it is also a place that has offered natural burials thousands of years long before we started thinking about them. The 4500 BC Neolithic Stone Circle is an important part of the history of the woodland burial ground, marking what is thought to be an ancient burial ground. It is protected ancient monument that is cared for and protected by the Forbes Estate, ensuring that our history is remembered and protected. Allowing it to remain a place that or future generations can enjoy alongside our natural burials, that are low impact and take into consideration the importance of this beautiful monument.
The natural burial ground allows time and space for families to organise funerals and burials that are meaningful and personal, while also offering the chance to visit and make the most of the beautiful woodland and all it has to offer. Exploring and enjoying the woodland and neolithic stones, but at the same time taking a moment to remember those who were special to them, and who are an important part of the woodland burial making it a truly special place to be.
If you want to know more about the burial ground or would like to visit Malcolm would be happy to meet you there and have a chat about the woodland burial and what works well at the burial ground, while he will also be there to give assistance on the day of the funeral.
We understand that natural burial is a very thoughtful choice for our future generations, it may not be right for everyone but we are here to help support those who feel something more natural or closer to nature is right for them. As one of our families said, ‘it’s peaceful, beautiful, and somewhere we can comfortably visit as a family and with the dogs’.
Stories and thoughts from the Leedam camp.
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